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According to SuperValu, the potato is still part of the staple diet for most Irish people and the traditional dinner of potato, vegetables and meat continues to be the number one choice. To ensure Irish families can continue to enjoy the best potatoes in the world, Irish farmers are currently harvesting the first of the new season Irish potato crop across counties Wexford and Cork, which will be available in all 192 SuperValu stores throughout the country from this week.

Approximately 35,000 tonnes of potatoes are sourced annually from growers in Dublin, Cork, Meath, Louth, Kildare, Donegal and Wexford, making SuperValu the largest retailer of Irish potatoes.  SuperValu sold over €27 million of Irish potatoes in 2009, with volume expected to increase in 2010.

In addition, SuperValu’s independent retail partners also sourced a significant amount of potatoes from local producers, as part of their commitment to local sourcing and supporting their local communities. This amounted to a further €9million worth of further potatoes sales in 2010.

Commenting on the announcement, Donal Horgan, Managing Director of SuperValu, said, “We are delighted to have the first crop of Irish potatoes in SuperValu. Given the choice, people want to buy Irish. By delivering top quality produce at an affordable price, SuperValu allows shoppers to buy the food they love, whilst supporting Irish suppliers, jobs, and communities. We have a well-established and long-term commitment to supporting Irish food producers. This approach is at the heart of our organization and our brands, and will we believe continue to provide us with an enduring competitive advantage over our competitors.”

There is little doubt that the potato is still Ireland’s favourite vegetable and they offer a wide range of nutritional benefits. Potatoes are a rich source of energy, and are also naturally fat free, cholesterol free and sodium free, which are all excellent for reducing the risk of high blood pressures and strokes.

Potatoes are also an excellent source of nutrients, providing 21 per cent of the daily recommended amounts of Potassium, 12 per cent of Fibre, 45 per cent of Vitamin C, 10 per cent of Vitamin B6 and 4 grams of protein, while only containing 100 calories per 148g.

SuperValu retailers play a key economic and social role in their local communities, sourcing product from local suppliers, providing jobs through store investment and openings, and by supporting local sponsorships, initiatives and charitable causes to build vibrant local communities.

During 2009 Musgrave and the SuperValu brand made a significant contribution to the Irish economy and Irish suppliers with 75 per cent of all products purchased on behalf of all its retail partners, either produced or manufactured in Ireland. This represents total purchases from Irish suppliers in excess of €2.85 billion at retail level, serving to both create and protect Irish jobs and livelihoods and also sustain the Irish community.

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