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As readers of our news pages will have noticed, SuperValu is a National Dairy Council (NDC) partner for National Dairy Week, which is under way right now and until the fourth of May.

This NDC initiative is not just a way of promoting the importance of dairy products to nutrition and growth, important though that is. It’s also a useful reminder, at a time when food origins are under scrutiny more than ever before, of the NDC’s own role in approving the quality and guaranteeing the provenance of dairy products (see http://www.ndc.ie/about for more). These products naturally include milk and, notably SuperValu’s Own Brand milk, which is NDC approved.

Obviously this partnership is a great honour for SuperValu and a boost for its own brand strategy as well as its support for Irish-made or sourced products. And there’s a lot for SuperValu to be proud of in its market-leading initiatives in this area. But we and our partners are entirely aware that much of what we do is following public sentiment as much as blazing a trail. An economic downturn has focused many Irish minds on who makes what and where as much as what it costs; after all, local jobs are in the balance. But even where local suppliers are concerned, the need for guarantees of quality is still at the forefront of careful shoppers’ minds.

So the National Dairy Week partnership between retail and the NDC of which SuperValu is part, is a multi-faceted one — or so we like to think. It shows how, at their best, private and public strategies together can inform, and be informed by, the public about healthy food, support for local industry and the promotion of quality. And we’re sure milk fans will drink to that!

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