SuperValu reaffirms its commitment to Irish growers by sourcing €27 million of Irish potatoes

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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Musgrave Group plc appoints Seamus Scally as non-executive Chairman Designate to succeed Hugh Mackeown

Musgrave Group plc, partner to entrepreneurial food retailers and foodservice professionals in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Spain has today, Thursday 27 May 2010, announced the appointment of Seamus Scally as non-executive Chairman designate to succeed Hugh Mackeown from January 2011.

Hugh Mackeown has been the driving force behind the growth and development of the Musgrave Group for over forty years, serving in that time as Managing Director, Chief Executive and Chairman. Mr. Mackeown took over as Managing Director of the then Musgrave Brothers business in 1971 at the age of 29. He became Chairman when Seamus Scally was appointed as Group Managing Director in 1997.

During his executive career with the business, Hugh Mackeown oversaw the introduction and rollout of the iconic SuperValu and Centra brands, initially with 49 stores in 1979 growing to some 660 stores today. During that period, he substantially refocused the business developing it beyond its cash and carry heritage to become a sophisticated retail partnership model, central to the development of the independent retail sector in Ireland. During Mr. Mackeown’s time the business, which is now also a significant force in the United Kingdom and Spanish retail sectors, grew in turnover from €7 million to in excess of €4.6 billion and supporting some 50,000 jobs. As non-executive Chairman, he has remained actively involved in the business working in partnership with both his successors Seamus Scally and Chris Martin, overseeing the strategic focus of the business. Mr. Mackeown resigns from the Board of Musgrave Group on 1 January 2011.

Seamus Scally is one of Ireland’s best known businessmen. He served as Group Managing Director of the Musgrave Group from 1997 to 2005 and is currently a non-executive director of the Group. During his time as Group Managing Director of Musgrave Group, the business evolved substantially, both domestically and internationally. Anticipating the rapidly changing consumer environment, Mr. Scally drove the development of the business based on convenience, value for money and range. Under his guidance as Group Managing Director, Musgrave was the first Irish business in the grocery retail sector to introduce centralised distribution of chilled, fresh and frozen food substantially expanding the business’ capacity. He continued the Group’s international expansion with the acquisition of the Budgens and Londis retail groups in Great Britain and expanding the Group’s footprint in South East Spain.

Commenting on his retirement, Hugh Mackeown, Chairman, Musgrave Group plc, said, “It is with an enormous sense of pride that I step down as Chairman of a truly remarkable business. From humble beginnings our business has evolved to support the growth and development of a highly sophisticated international retail partnership business. Supporting the growth and long term development of locally owned stores has provided consumers with wider choice and a real alternative to the multiples. While that growth has seen fundamental changes within the business, I am mindful that we have remained true to our values which put an emphasis on long term relationships and not being greedy.

The business will continue to be at the forefront of delivering change and supporting the growth of a vibrant independent retail sector in all our markets. In Seamus Scally, I have a successor of enormous strength and a depth of experience which is beyond parallel.

Personally I wish to thank everyone who has contributed to that success story throughout my time with the business and I am confident in the belief that the best years remain ahead.

Mr. Seamus Scally, Chairman Designate, said, “It’s hard to overstate the contribution Hugh has made to development of retailing in Ireland. He combined a strong business ethic with a visionary zeal and determination to reshape the retail landscape in Ireland. In so doing, he leaves behind a business that has grown exponentially and continues to bring value and choice into the homes of consumers throughout communities in Ireland, the UK and Spain. I wish him the very best in his retirement.

Looking forward, I will continue to work with Chris Martin and the Executive team to drive the business forward. At a time of profound economic challenge in all our markets, partnering with our retailers and supporting hard pressed consumers will continue to be our driving focus.

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Driving success with Budgens

The Manchett family chose to partner with Budgens for the shop on their Jet forecourt site in Burwell, Cambridgeshire and now they’re reaping the rewards of increased sales.

The business was started in 1961 and three generations of the Manchett family have brought the group of companies to what it is today, encompassing all areas of the motor trade. Entering into the convenience retail sector fitted in with the dynamics of the business and the family joined forces with Budgens to drive their business forward.

The forecourt site at Burwell was developed and the previous store knocked down in order to rebuild a new state-of-the-art 2,345 sq ft convenience store. The Budgens store development team then refitted the store to the latest Budgens brand standards.

Alcohol, food-to-go, greetings cards, news/magazines and fresh/chilled foods were all new to the range. The Budgens ‘Good to go’ range along with coffee are prominent and the first aisle is dedicated to fresh foods. Some 14m of fresh-food chillers draw customers to the bakery section where there’s 1m dedicated to freshly baked bread, plus 2m packaged bread and morning goods. Specialist wooden flooring and lighting create a ‘store within a store’ atmosphere for the off licence section.

There’s an express checkout, packed with impulse lines, for those just paying for fuel and not wanting to do a big shop. There are two other till points for those with bigger shopping baskets.

The initial anticipated turnover of £20,000 a week has already been surpassed, just weeks after opening. Fuel sales have also increased considerably.

On the launch day, the family invited a local award-winning school choir to perform at the front of the store. Postcards were delivered to the local area, telling people about the new store and they started a facebook site.

The team of 17 staff are all recruited from the local area.

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