MRPNI Serves Up 400,000 Brussels Sprouts This Christmas

MRPNI will be serving up 400,000 Brussels sprouts to Northern Ireland consumers this Christmas thanks to its partnership with Co. Armagh supplier Derrykeeran Nurseries.

Pat Smith of Derrykeeran Nurseries, Co. Armagh along with Aiden Kearney, Fresh Produce Trading Manager of MRPNI help serve up 400,000 Brussels sprouts to Northern Ireland consumers this Christmas.

As one of the top sprout farmers in Northern Ireland, Pat Smith of Derrykeeran Nurseries will supply the home-grown vegetable, which is an important addition to many festive dinner tables, to all SuperValu NI, Centra NI and Mace NI stores.

Fresh Produce Trading Manager of MRPNI, Aiden Kearney, said: “We’re delighted to continue our work with Derrykeeran Nurseries who have been supplying MRPNI for almost 20 years. We expect to sell in the region of 400,000 sprouts across our stores with 50% of sales taking place over the two week Christmas period.

“We are committed to bringing the highest quality fresh produce to consumers and sourcing in Northern Ireland allows us to do this. We are very proud of our relationship with suppliers such as Derrykeeran Nurseries who are one of over 250 local suppliers in Northern Ireland we use across our business,” he added.

Share this on...

Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland to create 80 jobs as part of €8.2 million investment in Fonthill depot

Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland announced today that 80 new jobs are to be created as a result of an €8.2 million investment at the company’s Fonthill depot in Dublin. The new roles in management, warehouse and driving positions will bring the total headcount at the site to 335 permanent staff. The 57,000 sq. ft. expansion will boost Fonthill’s capacity by 60% by 2015. Work has already commenced on the Fonthill site, which will sustain 65 construction jobs. The expansion is due to be completed by July 2015.
Commenting on the expansion, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland, said: “This significant investment in our Fonthill depot is a major milestone for our business in order to ensure we can meet our future capacity needs by strengthening our supply chain and logistics operations. The expansion will allow us to reach the site’s full potential, ultimately enhancing the shopping experience at SuperValu and Centra stores by guaranteeing greater availability of produce on a daily basis.”
Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland operates the SuperValu and Centra brands in Ireland, partnering with entrepreneurs who own and operate stores in their local community. SuperValu is the leading Irish grocery retailer with 223 stores nationwide, serving over 2.6 million customers every week and recorded retail sales of €2.1 billion in 2013. Centra is Ireland’s number one convenience brand, with 465 stores nationwide and recorded retail sales of €1.48 billion in 2013.

Share this on...

Tánaiste Joan Burton launches ‘Feeding Ireland’s Future 2015’

Skills for Work Week; 2nd – 6th March, 2015

The Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, today launched ‘Feeding Ireland’s Future 2015’, an initiative by the Irish food and grocery industry body set up to help support young unemployed people. This is the second year of the initiative and will involve food and grocery companies and service providers to the sector throughout Ireland providing free pre-employment skills for young people through its core initiative, ‘Skills for Work Week’, a designated skills training week in March 2015.

The programme is being promoted by ECR Ireland, with the support of its members, in partnership with the Department of Social Protection through its Intreo service. According to the latest Live Register figures, the percentage of young people on the live register in November 2014 was 13.9%.  Whilst this is down from 15.3% in November 2013, responding to this situation is still an ongoing priority for the Government. 

Speaking at the launch, the Tánaiste said: “As Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, I am delighted that the Department is involved with ECR Ireland and Feeding Ireland’s Future, which I regard as an important measure in supporting our youth employment strategy.  I would urge employers to take on the challenge of offering work experience to young jobseekers, to help them improve their chances of securing employment.  All too often we hear that young jobseekers do not adequately demonstrate their skills, ability and depth of experience in their CVs, which is often the only information an employer has in deciding to invite a candidate for interview.

“By participating in Feeding Ireland’s Future you can make a truly positive difference in a young person’s life.  You will be helping them gain the necessary skills to become job ready.  In short, you can help them to put their best foot forward to getting a job.  Each action, by you, no matter how small, can make a big difference in a jobseeker’s life.” 

Over the course of the next two months, the Department of Social Protection will be contacting young people across the country that would benefit from this unique opportunity.  The experience will enhance their employability skills through benefiting from the expertise and advice of employers in their locality.

The ‘Skills for Work Week 2015’ initiative is being led by board member of ECR Ireland, David O’Neill, Managing Director of SHS Sales & Marketing.

He commented that, as one of the country’s largest private sector employers, the food and grocery industry was well placed to support young people in the transition from education to employment.

“Feeding Ireland’s Future will give young people in Ireland a much better insight into the vast range of career opportunities available in our industry. Today’s young people are tomorrow’s workforce so investing in and inspiring our young people is critical for our sustained business success. Based on the support we have received so far, we are confident that Feeding Ireland’s Future will become a major industry initiative in which most retailers, suppliers and service providers will want to participate” he said.

This will be the second year of Feeding Ireland’s Future. Last year, 29 companies participated in the programme offering over 1,500 places for young unemployed people to attend skills sessions designed to aid their quest for work.  The most effective activities conducted were CV writing courses, interview skills and giving insights into various job functions & trading relationships.  The initiative was a great success, as 97% of participants said they were more confident in applying for a job after taking part in ‘Skills for Work Week’. In addition, 88% of companies that took part said they would definitely aspire towards participating in the programme again in 2015.

Companies already signed up for Feeding Ireland’s Future include some of Ireland’s leading names in the grocery industry; BWG Foods, Keelings, Kellogg’s, Maxol Group, Musgrave Group, Nestlé, P&G Foods, SHS Sales & Marketing, Tesco, and Unilever are all involved to date. The companies will open their doors to give young unemployed people first-hand experience of the workings of production and marketing. 

The companies will provide a range of initiatives including free on-site skills workshops and site visits for young people at locations across Ireland during Skills for Work Week 2015, which will run from Monday 2nd to Friday 6th March 2015.  The focus will be on developing pre-employment skills and will include advice on CV writing, interview training and behind the scenes tours of factories, depots and offices.

Declan Carolan, General Manager, ECR Ireland called on as many companies as possible to participate and offer some pre-employment training initiatives during March 2015.

“Feeding Ireland’s Future is a great example of how the food and grocery industry can collaborate to further the skills of young job seekers in Ireland and better prepare them in their quest for work.  We are looking to build on the success of last year’s programme and I hope as many companies as possible participate for 2015 so that future employers will favourably recognise those applicants who have participated in the Skills for Work week.  Our industry needs to collectively step up and help inspire young people and I believe that Feeding Ireland’s Future can play a significant role in this ideal” he said.

ECR member companies interested in participating in Skills for Work Week 2015 should contact: or T 087 235 2148

For media queries, please contact:

Sheila Gahan, Wilson Hartnell T: 01 6690030 or 087 234 2409, e:

Ruth Doyle, Wilson Hartnell T: 01 6690030 or 087 944 8134, e: 

About ECR Ireland

Efficient Consumer Response Ireland (ECR) was established in 1998 to promote and educate the Irish Business Community about Efficient Consumer Response and the benefits it brings. It is the official ECR organisation in Ireland and is a member of ECR Europe. The board is comprised of senior executives from a selection of retailers and suppliers operating in Ireland whose purpose it is to represent the sectors within which they trade.

ECR Ireland encourages long term co-operation between retail trading partners to drive costs out of the supply chain and benefit the Irish consumer. It does this by developing industry best practices, promoting their adoption and providing education and guidance on key demand side & supply chain issues. It is committed to the implementation of ECR principles by Irish companies and is a not for profit organisation.

About Intreo

Intreo is a service from the Department of Social Protection which helps those unemployed with their employment and income support services needs. Intreo provides a personalised service, based on individual needs including; advice on education, training and personal development opportunities, job search assistance as well as information on and access to the range of income supports available.

Companies already signed up for Feeding Ireland’s Future

The Musgrave Group
SHS Sales & Marketing
Maxol Group

Share this on...

On the Pigs Back’ signs deal with SuperValu worth €100,000, creating two new jobs

‘On the Pigs Back’ scoop Small Producer of the Year Award at Irish Quality Food Awards

SuperValu, the leading Irish grocery retailer, announced today that is has signed a deal with ‘On the Pigs Back’, a Cork-based pate and terrine producer, worth €100,000. The deal will see two new jobs created at the company and further capital investment, as they extend their range across the entire SuperValu network.

‘On the Pigs Back’ were selected as winners of the ‘Small Producer of the Year’ award at the Irish Food Quality Awards last night. Sponsored by SuperValu, the award is designed to celebrate artisan food and drink in Ireland. The company will now have the opportunity to supply a wider range of their gourmet products to SuperValu’s 222 stores nationwide and will benefit from significant sales and marketing support from the retailer.

Commenting on the announcement, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director SuperValu said, “We are delighted to present this award to ‘On the Pigs Back’ and congratulate them on their title of ‘Small Producer of the Year’. This opportunity will now enable ‘On the Pigs Back’ to grow from a small local supplier to a business supplying products across our entire SuperValu network, demonstrating our commitment to Irish suppliers.”

”International research shows that by shopping in locally owned stores, like SuperValu, three times more money is invested back into the local economy. One of the ways this is achieved is due to our unique retail model, whereby stores are independently owned and operated by local retailers, and retailers have the freedom to purchase directly from local suppliers. A food start-up can begin its relationship with a local SuperValu store, before eventually growing their business across our entire store network. As a result, you will often find products in your local SuperValu that you cannot buy in other supermarkets.”

Isabelle Sheridan of ‘On the Pigs Back’ said, “Working with local SuperValu retailers has given me a route to market which otherwise would not have been open to me. My relationship with SuperValu has provided me with the skillset required to expand my business and create jobs in the process. We are really excited as we embark on this next chapter and are delighted that SuperValu customers will have the opportunity to try more quality ‘On the Pigs Back’ products over the coming months.”

SuperValu serves over 2.6 million customers every week and now has 222 stores nationwide. 75% of everything on SuperValu’s shelves is sourced or produced in Ireland. SuperValu continues to source locally wherever possible and purchases almost €2 billion worth of goods from Irish suppliers which help to sustain 30,000 jobs in the Irish economy.

Share this on...

Getting serious about getting youth to work

It’s time — in today’s blog at least — to get a bit serious. Ireland has a talented, well educated workforce but is still emerging from a tough economic period. The percentage of young unemployed is in double figures and needs to fall. Government is only too aware of this. That’s why it supported the recent launch of Feeding Ireland’s Future 2015, the second year of the Feeding Ireland’s Future initiative.

But it’s not a government initiative — or at least not entirely. This also comes via an Irish food and grocery industry body set up to help support young unemployed people. Food and grocery companies and service providers throughout Ireland will be offering free pre-employment skills for young people through a related initiative called ‘Skills for Work Week’, a designated skills training week taking place in March 2015.

ECR Ireland, the Department of Social Protection and many of Ireland’s leading names in the grocery industry are part of Feeding Ireland’s Future, including, of course, Musgrave. But what you no doubt want is not a list of supporters but an idea of what it’s all about. Well, oddly, it’s quite simple. Sometimes the right people aren’t getting the right jobs for very basic reasons. Take last year for instance, when 29 companies participated in the programme offering over 1,500 places for young unemployed people to attend skills sessions designed to aid their quest for work. The most useful training turned out to be CV writing courses, interview skills and giving insights into various job functions and trading relationships. Understanding the job and promoting yourself effectively, in other words. Both are useful but even more so when they go together, which is why the young participants seemed to approve.

“Helping them gain the necessary skills to become job ready,” is what the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, calls this. And we at Musgrave are ready to help. Certainly if companies that know what they want from employees can offer expertise and advice, we believe they should, as do Nestle, Maxol Group, Tesco and a number of others taking part in Feeding Ireland’s Future.

After all, it’s not just the young who can benefit. We may be helping to nurture an industry leader of the future who could benefit not just him or herself but our own businesses in an increasingly competitive global market. In other words we might not just be helping to lower unemployment and its cost to the state or bringing more people into the Irish workforce but nurturing a future senior figure in Unilever, Kelloggs — or even Musgrave. Now there’s a thought…

Share this on...

Ryan Brothers Sweep the Board at the Edward Dillon & Santa Rita Estates Off-Licence Of The Year Awards 2014

Ryan brothers, Liam Ryan of Ryan’s SuperValu in Glanmire and Tom Ryan of Ryan’s Centra Raheen swept the board at the recent Edward Dillon / Santa Rita Estates Off-Licence of the Year Awards. The award winning stores clinched the overall SuperValu and Centra award title at the 22nd annual ceremony which took place on Thursday 13th November.

Liam Ryan, Lillian Twomey and Deboragh Wolfe were there to represent SuperValu Glanmire on the night, with Tom and Breda Ryan and Joe Greensmith collecting the award on behalf of Centra Raheen. The award was presented by Andy O’Hara CEO of Edward Dillon, Andrés Alvarado, Santa Rita Estates and Martin Kelleher, Managing Director Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland. The event, which took place in Hotel Kilkenny, was attended by Centra and SuperValu finalist stores from across the country.

The overall winner and category winners of the Edward Dillon & Santa Rita Estates SuperValu Off-Licence of the Year Awards will enjoy a luxurious trip to New York. All finalists received a certificate of achievement on the night.

Each of the SuperValu and Centra finalist stores were judged by Carthage Conlon and were marked on a range of criteria, including overall appearance, innovation and customer service.

The three SuperValu category winners were Hurley’s SuperValu, Midleton, SuperValu Tramore and SuperValu, Wexford, who took home the large store, medium store and small store prizes respectively.

Centra Moycullen in Galway, won the convenience store category, O’Leary’s Centra in Tower was the runner up in the neighbourhood supermarket category and Centra Marley Park, Dublin won the Centra Wine Store of the Year.

Speaking at the event, Andy O’Hara, CEO of Edward Dillon, said: ‘We would like to extend our congratulations to all our winners at this year’s awards, for reaching such a high standard in their store. We would also like to say well done to the other finalists for taking part this year.’

Share this on...

A tasty combination

Here’s a blog for all you budding food entrepreneurs. Were you at the Lovin’ Dublin Show Live on November the 24th? If you were, you’ll no doubt agree it was quite an event. If not, just imagine what the organisers called ‘a night of inspiration celebrating Dublin and highlighting the future talent of the city’ featuring a lot of guests, a lot of inspiring talk and an awful lot of good food and drink. Add a speaker list including Niall Breslin, Caroline Keeling, Marco Pierre White and Loyd Grossman and you probably get the idea.

But what, you may ask, did that have to do with Musgrave or its partners? Well our partner Supervalu did supply one of the speakers: Trading Director Eamon Howell. But Supervalu also sponsored the Food Start-up of the Year award. And this is where we come back to our opening comment. Because anyone hoping to start a food business and supply companies like SuperValu might be advised to pick up some ideas from the very smart winner of the award.

The winner was Nobó Dairy-Free Ice Cream, which was praised not just for quality and originality, but — and this is important — market-readiness. How ready? Well, have a look at the very nifty website ( and you’ll see the whole package: good food, a clear message and a lot of style. And, of course, something different: it’s dairy-free ice cream but without any sense of being less enjoyable.

This is, we think, what a modern food producer has to think about: getting the message across; getting an audience; and, as well as all that, coming up with the goods that go on the plate (or in the ice-cream tub).

Those of us who’ve tried Nobo ice cream, On The Pig’s Back pate and terrines,  and some of the other cool, clever and tasty food ideas that are doing this country’s food industry proud will certainly be able to back that up. Good food, good ideas and good presentation is a tasty combination.

Share this on...

Lovin Dublin gives €25,000 prize to Nobó at Lovin Dublin Show Live

The Supervalu ‘Food Start-up of the Year’ award was given to Nobó Dairy-Free Ice Cream at the recent Lovin Dublin Live Show. The judging panel saw a level of quality, originality, and market-readiness which separated it from the hundreds of other competitors. Nobó will receive €5,000 cash, €4,000 of legal services from Philip Lee, PR support from PR 360, mentorship from leading Irish retail guru James Burke, and much more.

Speaking at the event, SuperValu Trading Director, Eamon Howell said: “At SuperValu, we are committed to providing our shoppers with great quality food along with new and innovative products. As the number one retail supporter of the Irish food industry, we feel a huge sense of pride in our long-standing relationships with suppliers that we have helped grow and expand their businesses over the years.  Through the Food Academy programme, we work hand in hand with budding artisan food producers, providing them with the opportunity to trial their products in local SuperValu stores initially and then grow their partnership with us as they scale their business and supply more SuperValu stores, creating local jobs in the process. As SuperValu stores are independently owned and operated, our retailers are perfectly placed to support suppliers in scaling their business at a sustainable pace. At the same time, it allows our retailers to provide customers with a tailored local offer, stocking products which you cannot buy in other supermarkets.”

Foodies, bloggers and people from all across the country assembled in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on Monday the 24th of November for Lovin Dublin’s first ever live show. Speaking about the event, Niall Harbison Founder of Lovin Dublin says “We wanted to do something that was a huge celebration of Dublin and really highlighted the best the city has to offer. We also wanted to get people inspired, so we have flown in some of the very best speakers from around the world. We wanted people to leave the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre with a chill in their spine about the huge potential this city has as it continues to grow.”

Lovin Dublin Show Live also had talks from Marco Pierre White, Mark Pollock, Jamie Heaslip, Paddy Cosgrave, Niall Breslin, Caroline Keeling, Mark Little and more, with awards given out to ‘Dublin’s Best’…

  • Brunch – Whitefriar Grill;
  • Pub – Long Hall;
  • Chef – Ross Lewis;
  • Coffee Shop – 3FE;
  • Lunch – Boojum;
  • Dinner – Saba;
  • Restaurant – 777

Lovin Dublin Show Live is kindly supported by Supervalu, O’Brien’s Off Licence, Heinz and Visit Dublin.

Share this on...

Centra NI signs up to sponsor Ulster Rugby’s ‘Half-Time’

Pictured at Centra Wellington Place launching Centra NI’s sponsorship of Ulster Rugby Half-Time with Ulster Rugby stars Franco van der Merwe, Ruan Pienaar and Roger Wilson are Belfast store owner Leslie Stafford’s son and daughter, Adam and Amy-Lee Forrest.

In a new sponsorship deal between Ulster Rugby and Centra NI, up to four Under 12 mini rugby teams from across Ulster will play at each home match during the interval at the famous Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Girls youth teams and disability tag rugby sections will also be invited to participate.

Centra NI already supports the Ulster Rugby Summer Camps which saw more than 1,800 participants this year and this latest partnership cements Centra NI’s support of mini rugby in Northern Ireland.

Nikki McDowell, Brand Manager said, “Centra NI and its independent retail partners across Northern Ireland have supported the Ulster Rugby Summer Camps since 2008 and we are very proud of this association.”

She added, “We are now taking this a step further with Centra NI’s sponsorship of Half-Time, which will give hundreds of young rugby stars in the making the chance to compete at the home of Ulster Rugby and develop their skills on the pitch.”

Share this on...

Success for Centra at Shelflife C-Store Awards

Centra stores have taken home four awards at the recent ShelfLife C-Store Award ceremony in Dublin on 26th November 2014. The ShelfLife C-Store Awards, now in its 14th year, were set up by leading retail industry magazine to acknowledge stores and individuals that set the standards for the industry.

Centra Castletroy in Limerick clinched Gold and took home the National Award for Stores from 4,000 to 8,000 sq ft. Kellys Centra, Mountain Top, Co. Donegal was named Silver award winner within the same category.

Donnellan’s Centra in Ennis clinched two prestigious awards, winning the overall Hygiene Award for Exceptional Standards in 2014 as well as taking home Silver in the National Award for Stores up to 2,000 sq ft category.

In winning these titles, Centra stores fought off stiff competition from convenience stores throughout Ireland. The award was adjudicated by independent judges on numerous conditions, including product offering, store hygiene and customer service. Of all the ShelfLife C-Store awards presented on the night, Centra stores across the country secured a total of four awards.

Share this on...

What would you like to find?

Most popular stories

Noel Keeley appointed as new Musgrave CEO

Musgrave Group plc announced today that Noel Keeley, current Managing…

Addressing the sustainability challenge

We’re proud of our success in food retail. Together with…

SuperValu, Centra & Mace Honoured at Leading NI Retail Awards

Stores from Ballymoney, Belfast, Carrickfergus and Portaferry Crowned Winners Stores…