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Award recognises excellence in food safety and quality standards among SuperValu and Centra poultry producers

SuperValu and Centra today announced Monaghan-based farmer Pat McGuirk as recipient of the inaugural SuperValu and Centra Poultry Grower of the Year Award. A supplier of chicken to SuperValu and Centra for almost 20 years, Pat McGuirk was selected for his outstanding commitment to food safety and quality at farm level.

The SuperValu and Centra Poultry Grower of the Year Award was established to recognise excellence in food safety standards, specifically looking at actions taken by farmers to improve biosecurity and minimise levels of Campylobacter in poultry meat – the most common cause of bacterial food poisoning in Ireland, and throughout the EU. The award builds on the work of the FSAI and Department of Agriculture’s Campylobacter Stakeholders Group – a proactive collaboration to address the challenge of Campylobacter across the Irish poultry meat sector.

Pat McGuirk, a poultry farmer for Manor Farm was selected after a series of inspections and tests of flocks on Pat McGuirk’s farm throughout 2017, showed consistent improvements in Campylobacter levels and biosecurity standards.

Commenting on the award, Ray Bowe, Head of Food Safety & Quality, SuperValu and Centra said, “As SuperValu and Centra continue to push the boundaries in fresh food leadership, ensuring the highest food safety standards throughout the supply chain is core to this agenda. We are pleased to introduce this accolade to recognise industry-leading standards in poultry farming and ensure that our customers are always guaranteed the best in fresh poultry.”

“The award highlights the commitment to food safety and quality shared by long-standing SuperValu and Centra poultry producers such as Pat McGuirk. I would like to congratulate Pat for his efforts, particularly his success in tackling Campylobacter and in the areas of biosecurity and terminal hygiene plans, all of which have been validated through award adjudicators, Manor Farm. His commitment to improving food safety serves as a benchmark for the rest of the producer community.”

Pat McGuirk, recipient of the inaugural SuperValu and Centra Poultry Grower of the Year Award, added, “I am proud to have partnered with SuperValu, Centra and Manor Farm since 2000, during which time I have expanded significantly to meet growing demand. The priority for us is to ensure that customers can have absolute confidence in the poultry they purchase from SuperValu and Centra and we are delighted to have our efforts in this regard acknowledged.”

SuperValu and Centra are the number one supporters of the Irish agri-food industry, sourcing from over 1,800 Irish suppliers – more than any other grocery retailer in the Irish market – equating to an annual economic contribution of €2.19 billion. Together with its retail partners, SuperValu and Centra employ approximately 14,500 colleagues, making it one of the State’s largest private sector employers. 75% of everything on SuperValu and Centra shelves is sourced in Ireland. SuperValu and Centra continue to source locally wherever possible, which helps to sustain 30,000 jobs in the Irish economy.

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