Frank and Honest joins forces with university students to highlight transition to 100% compostable coffee cups

Every day in Ireland around two million disposable coffee cups are sent to landfill, this is a staggering figure, but it shouldn’t be a surprise given how much the Irish love coffee.

At Musgrave we love coffee too and our Frank and Honest brand is the largest and most popular coffee brand in the country – so coffee is a day-to-day obssesion for us.

We’re proud that Frank and Honest is the first Irish coffee brand to announce that all coffee cups will be 100% compostable by September this year. Single-use plastics, including coffee cups, will be banned across the EU by 2030. However with two million single-use cups being thrown away every day, we believe we have to start reversing the damage now, and the materials are starting to become available to make this happen. The Frank and Honest certified compostable coffee cups will be made from plant-based materials. After use, they can go in brown bins and will biodegrade with food waste in under 12 weeks, creating nutrient-rich compost.

Reducing waste to landfill and encouraging recycling across our network is key to our sustainability policy. In our recent  sustainability strategy Taking Care of our World, we set out key commitments for the next decade to reduce our impact on the environment.

On top of this we have made a pledge to make 100% of SuperValu own brand and fresh produce packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025, and we have already introduced fully compostable and biodegradable produce bags in 70 SuperValu stores  – the first Irish retailer to do so.

Whilst the new Frank and Honest compostable cups and the biodegradable bags in 70 SuperValu stores are just the start of this, they are an important part of a movement in packaging that is only set to grow.

To highlight the news about the transition to compostable cups, this month Frank and Honest joined forces with Ulster University to launch a competition asking their fashion students to create a wearable garment using only Frank and Honest cups. The aim is to work with budding designers and recyclers of the future to help communicate the importance of sustainability in a fun and visual way.

The students will create detailed drawings of wearable fashion designs from which the judges, from the Ulster University and Frank and Honest, will choose the winner who will get a cash prize, the chance to make their creation and to have it exhibited at a special event.

Learn more about our sustainability commitments

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Centra launch #WeAreHurling survey to mark their ninth year as GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship sponsor

25th May 2018 Centra has conducted research which shows that 95% of participants believe that hurling is an integral part of our national identity. Centra, proud sponsor of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship for the last nine years, today released their #WeAreHurling survey results, which showcase the importance of our national sport and the role it plays in communities across the country.

When asked about their passion and love for the game, 42% of participants said they dress their house in their county colours during championship season; whilst 55% said they have nearly cried or have been brought to tears by a hurling game. 40% admitted to bringing a hurl on holidays and 92% said they are proud to see hurls being presented to foreign dignitaries during state visits. 87% of those surveyed said that their local GAA club is an integral part of their local community. When asked what county would win if the All-Ireland Championship was won by supporters alone, Cork took pole position (19%), followed closely by Dublin (17%) and Kilkenny (13%).

Speaking at the launch of Centra’s 2018 #WeAreHurling campaign, Martin Kelleher, Centra Managing Director, said: “Centra is at the heart of communities across Ireland and plays an important role in the promotion and development of hurling at a local level. Our #WeAreHurling campaign showcases the multitude of roles that people play to contribute to the success of hurling. We will continue to champion these people, because it is their passion that drives this sport, year-after-year.”

Centra’s #WeAreHurling campaign celebrates the passion displayed by those in Ireland’s collective hurling community and shines a light on those who devote their lives to the game, helping to make our national sport a pillar of Irish pride. From players and partners, to volunteers and sponsors, Centra’s #WeAreHurling campaign brings to life the stories of those who make up Ireland’s hurling community. These stories will be showcased on Centra’s social channels throughout the 2018 season.

Commenting on the #WeAreHurling 2018 survey results, Centra ambassador, Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, said: “I am truly delighted to see such a high percentage of people who believe hurling is part of our national identity. I have travelled the length and breadth of the country following hurling and I have seen how important GAA is to Irish communities. It is a uniquely Irish sport that is ingrained in our heritage. Centra are doing their bit to remind us of this through their #WeAreHurling campaign and I am very happy to be part of that.”

For further information on Centra’s #WeAreHurling campaign, check out www.centra.ie.

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Irish food start-ups set for sales of €50m as Ministers Creed and Breen celebrate fifth year of Food Academy Programme

23rd May, 2018 – Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD and Minister for Trade, Business & Employment, EU Digital Single Market & Data Protection Pat Breen TD today marked the fifth year of the Food Academy programme, which is expected to generate €50 million in sales annually for emerging Irish food producers within the next five years. Food Academy is a joint initiative between Bord Bia, the network of Local Enterprise Offices and SuperValu and was established to support early-stage Irish food businesses. Participating companies gain access to expertise in branding, market research, business development and distribution, to allow them to scale up and secure listings with SuperValu.

Since the programme’s inception in 2013, Food Academy graduates, supported by their Local Enterprise Offices, have sold €78 million worth of produce in SuperValu stores and the 329 suppliers involved have grown to provide approximately 1,500 jobs.

A range of suppliers have substantially grown their business with SuperValu since graduating from the programme and have benefitted from the ongoing financial and mentoring supports from their Local Enterprise Office

For example, Absolute Nutrition, the award-winning nutritional snack company, supported by Local Enterprise Office South Dublin, has recorded approximately €85,000 in sales at SuperValu to date this year by tapping into the trend of consumers looking for paleo treats.

Similarly, SynerChi Kombucha, supported by Local Enterprise Office Donegal, produces a range of organic healthy Kombucha brews, an alternative to soft drinks, which are extremely popular with SuperValu shoppers who have spent almost €95,000 on them so far this year.

This is all possible due to the collaborative nature of the Food Academy Programme, in which a cross government departmental programme engaging with the private retail sector has allowed Food Academy participants to get specialised local support. This comes through the assistance of the Local Enterprise Offices, SuperValu’s community retail model whereby their independent retailers can provide participants with a unique opportunity to sell in one or a small group of stores, and Bord Bia’s on the ground knowledge of the food sector nationwide.

Commenting at today’s launch in Bord Bia in Dublin, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD said: “There is increasing consumer interest in high quality locally-produced food products. This interest has helped to boost growth of the sector in recent years ensuring that small food and drink producers are now more closely than ever associated with Ireland’s food and drink identity.” 

Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen TD added: “The Food Academy initiative has been hugely successful in facilitating and showcasing the very high-quality food products that local entrepreneurs are producing throughout the country.  The success that so many of these companies have achieved reflects the very real interest and willingness amongst Irish consumers to support high-quality food and drink producers and this has been central to the support of some 1,500 jobs that contribute so strongly to Irish communities. I am confident that the new Food Starter programme recently announced will attract and encourage even more food entrepreneurs to join the Food Academy initiative in the coming years. This will further strengthen Ireland’s reputation as a producer of world class food suppliers.”

“I would also like to commend the work of the Local Enterprise Office network and Bord Bia for the work they put into the initiative. This is a wonderful example of the capacity of state agencies to work together with the private sector to the benefit of enterprise and of Irish consumers.”

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu said: “Working with over 1,800 Irish suppliers, SuperValu is uniquely placed to support more Irish food producers than any other grocery retailer. As our stores are independently-owned and operated, SuperValu retailers are able to provide emerging indigenous food producers with their all-important first supermarket listing and a route to market. This approach has helped suppliers like Jo Davey of Absolute Nutrition move from making nutritional snacks in her kitchen for her friends and relatives to establishing a successful food business with a unique offering that employs local people. This is exactly the type of result that the Food Academy is achieving through its partnership with SuperValu, Bord Bia and Local Enterprise Offices.”

Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia, added: “Bord Bia is proud to partner with the Local Enterprise Offices and SuperValu to grow and support innovative food businesses through the Food Academy Programme. Over five years the programme has attracted a diverse range of producers from all across Ireland. Operating both locally and nationally, Food Academy producers have become an integral part of Ireland’s successful food and drink industry. As the programme evolves into the future, Bord Bia will continue to provide comprehensive market knowledge, consumer insight and branding expertise to Food Academy participants nationwide.”

Also speaking at the event, Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the Local Enterprise Office Food Committee, said: “The Local Enterprise Offices are at the heart of every community in Ireland when it comes to fostering start-ups and new business ideas so to have worked alongside Bord Bia and SuperValu on the Food Academy Programme to create so many jobs is a fantastic achievement for all involved. The local aspect of the programme ensures that anyone in the country with a great idea in the food and beverage sector has the assistance and the tools available locally to make their dream a reality and we will continue to support them as their business grows.”

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Musgrave announces profit of €80m for Financial Year 2017

22nd May 2018 – Musgrave today announced results for the financial year ended 30 December 2017, with sales of €3.7 billion and profit before tax of €80 million, a 9% increase on the previous year. Net cash was €71 million and net assets totaled €330 million, an increase of €82 million.

Commenting, Chris Martin, Musgrave Chief Executive said:
“We have delivered a strong financial performance, reporting a third consecutive year of profit growth with sales also performing well despite on-going food deflation. Our brands enabled local community retailers to go head-to-head with the multiple chains in a highly competitive market. These family businesses are benefiting from their partnership with us and our financial strength enables us to support them into the future.  This financial strength also means we can continue to explore opportunities through acquisitions, exports and by developing new brands.

Business Review

The Musgrave business is combining brand and digital innovation to deliver a seamless shopping experience across the island of Ireland and exporting Irish food and our own brand products.

The total Irish food market, which combines both hospitality and grocery across the island of Ireland, is worth €30 billion which presents exciting growth opportunities for Musgrave and our retail partners. Building on our food expertise, Frank & Honest coffee is now available in over 630 stores and has become the number one selling coffee brand in Ireland.  We also continued the rollout of our new Chipmongers brand and we expect to end this year with 30 outlets. The acquisition of La Rousse Foods also completed at the start of this year has allowed us to strengthen our food expertise and to broaden our offer into the premium foodservice market.

As we look to grow in the total food market our brands are well positioned, delivering value to our customers and are performing strongly.

SuperValu in the Republic of Ireland, recorded sales of €2.7 billion in 2017 a new record for the brand. Ongoing investment in innovation saw SuperValu’s online shopping offer go from strength to strength, with sales increasing by 23%.  SuperValu also continued to expand its Real Rewards loyalty programme, adding new partners such as eir in 2017. Since the successful relaunch of the loyalty scheme, an additional 160,000 customers have joined the programme, bringing the total membership to 1.1 million people. SuperValu became the first retailer in Ireland to roll out autism-friendly stores, with additional supports such as de-sensitisation of store sounds and autism friendly trolleys.

Centra recorded sales of €1.58 billion in 2017, underlining its position as Ireland’s leading convenience retailer. Underpinning Centra’s performance was the continued demand by consumers for healthier options as part of living a balanced lifestyle. In 2017 alone, sales of Centra’s Grab & Go healthy sandwich range rose by 24%, impulse water purchases were up 10%, and sales of salad boxes rose to almost €2 million.

MarketPlace, our foodservice business, reported a strong sales performance which was helped by the full year contribution of the C.J. O’ Loughlin business that we acquired in 2016 and the continued rollout of the successful Food Emporium format. The acquisition of La Rousse Foods will allow Musgrave to broaden our offer to premium food establishments.

Our wholesale and convenience food brands in Northern Ireland delivered a good performance in 2017 with sales and profit growth.  54 stores were revamped and Frank and Honest was rolled out across the entire store estate.  With a strong emphasis on innovation and value for money the brands are set for good growth in 2018.

In addition to our brand innovation at home, we are also successfully developing international opportunities and have signed an agreement to export to Alosra in the Kingdom of Bahrain.  Our Spanish business also had a good year delivering growth in both sales and profit. We opened new stores and continued our programme of revamping stores, positioning the business for continued growth in 2018.

Outlook

While Ireland continues to have one of the strongest economies in Europe, there is Brexit related uncertainty with the potential to slow growth in the food and grocery sector. We are working to ensure that our business is prepared for this environment, as well as providing support for our independent retail partners.

Notwithstanding this challenge, we see opportunities in a growing total food market across the island of Ireland. Our focus will be to continue to develop our existing brands, create new brands, and deliver a seamless integration of digital with bricks and mortar retail to provide shoppers with the flexibility and personalisation they expect.”

For further information please contact

Piaras Kelly
Edelman
016789333
musgrave@edelman.com

About Musgrave

Musgrave is one of Ireland’s longest-running family businesses, founded in 1876 in Cork by brothers Thomas and Stuart Musgrave. Today Musgrave and its retail partners support more than 40,000 jobs, in more than 1,400 stores and offices across seven brands in three markets, with total retail sales of €3.7 billion.

Through its retail brands, Musgrave delivers sourcing, sales, marketing and supply chain expertise, so local entrepreneurs can go head-to-head with the international supermarket chains. Musgrave operates the following brands in three markets:
• Republic of Ireland – SuperValu, Centra, Daybreak, MarketPlace and Chipmongers
• Northern Ireland – SuperValu, Centra, Mace, DayToday and MarketPlace
• Spain – Dialprix and Dialsur
At Musgrave, Growing Good Business is at our core and we have an ongoing commitment to building sustainable communities across the island of Ireland as part of our sustainability strategy Taking Care of Our World
www.musgravegroup.com

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The launch of the BITCI Leaders’ Group on Sustainability & the Low Carbon pledge

In 2016 Musgrave achieved the Business Working Responsibly Mark from Business in the Community Ireland(BITCI). Based on ISO 26000 and audited by the NSAI, the mark looks at how we, as an organisation, treat customers, employees, our suppliers, our communities and the environment. It was an achievement that brought to the fore our strong commitment to sustainability and that allowed us to come together with other leading businesses, committed to working together for positive change. This association resulted in the creation of the BITCI Leaders Group on Sustainability, who today launch the first of their key actions, the Low Carbon Pledge.

Here Chris Martin, CEO Musgrave, explains how our membership of the BITCI continues to support the Musgrave journey to greater sustainability:

“At Musgrave, we have a clear purpose to create sustainable growth for the benefit of partners, colleagues and the company. This purpose is Growing Good Business. We believe that in a world where we are competing for market share and talent, nurturing a culture that thinks long term and has a robust purpose is important. We believe that companies that operate with a clear and driving sense of purpose are more focused and cohesive than those that have profit as their sole measure of success. As a family business with six generations of ownership, we look out further than the next set of quarterly results and are committed to sustainable growth. It’s this ethos that’s informing our business decisions, inspiring our people and transforming our culture. Our Business Working Responsibly accreditation and membership of the BITCI support us in this endeavour, connecting us with other Irish businesses who recognise sustainable business practices as a critical factor to success.

Our overarching ambition is to be the most trusted and most sustainable brand in Ireland; making a real difference to people’s lives and creating a positive impact on the planet by working with our partners to make every community a sustainable community. We launched our 2020 sustainability strategy in 2017 and are committed to delivering on our sustainability ambition. Our recent in-store initiatives, with SuperValu being the first retailer in Ireland to introduce fully compostable and biodegradable produce bags for use by customers, and the switch to compostable cups by our leading coffee brand Frank and Honest are all steps in our journey. And for us the BITCI is a partner on this journey.

Today therefore marks a milestone for us as members of BITCI with the launch of the Leaders Group on Sustainability, a coalition of Ireland’s leading organisations, represented by CEOs of Ireland’s top companies, who are making a commitment to work together to improve the sustainability of the Irish business sector through sharing best practice and creating new ways of doing business.

As a group we recognise the importance of collaboration in order to maintain and build Ireland’s reputation as a place to do business, attract top talent and inward investment and the need to come together to address the most pressing sustainability priorities for the Irish business sector. Sharing experiences and working together we have identified these as:

  • Ensuring businesses take the lead in Ireland’s transition to a low carbon economy
  • Removing barriers to social inclusion in Irish industry
  • Adapting to emerging work practices that will transform Irish industry

Our Low Carbon Pledge

Today the Leaders’ Group on Sustainability is taking action on the first of these priorities by making a public commitment to supporting Ireland’s business sector in the transition to a low carbon economy. The Low Carbon Pledge is the first dedicated pledge generated by Irish business to set industry standards on sustainability and reduce carbon emissions, reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 50% by 2030.

At Musgrave, for more than 10 years now, we have operated an energy monitoring and targeting system across our building estate and supply our facilities with 100% green electricity. We have also extended this supply agreement to make green power available to our retail partners across Ireland, reducing GHG emissions.

Our company strategies are designed to minimise the environmental and climate change impacts of our operations. We set ambitious annual energy and waste reduction targets and use renewable and alternative energy to cut our emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

As a part of our 2020 Sustainability strategy, ‘Taking Care of Our World’, launched in 2017, we have committed to reduce the carbon intensity of our operations across the island of Ireland by 70% * and by 2025 to reduce the climate impacts of our refrigeration systems by 80%.

These are our commitments.

As part of the BITCI Leaders Group on Sustainability we now have a new opportunity to share our knowledge and learn from other businesses. By doing this we lend our support to bringing as many businesses together as is possible to tackle climate change, set standards in sustainability and play a vital role in Ireland’s transition to a low carbon economy.

At Musgrave we are committed to playing a leadership role and to working hard to meet the challenges of managing our own impacts. As a member of the Leaders Group on Sustainability we look forward to sharing our expertise, learning from others and supporting more communities as they strive to bring about positive change. The Low Carbon Pledge is the first step on this journey towards achieving our mutual objectives.

I look forward to continuing to work together for the benefit of the Irish business sector and the future sustainability of our environment.”

*(2006 baseline)

About Chris Martin
Chris Martin is CEO of Musgrave, the leading food retail, wholesale and foodservice business on the island of Ireland.

Founded in 1876 in Cork, by brothers Thomas and Stuart Musgrave, Musgrave is one of Ireland’s longest-running family businesses. With a strong portfolio of market-leading brands, today Musgrave and its retail partners support more than 40,000 jobs, in more than 1,400 stores and offices across seven brands in three markets, with total sales of €3.7 billion.

Under Chris’ direction, the business has focused strongly on partnering with entrepreneurial retailers and innovative food suppliers to develop the retail and foodservice business and has grown the brands to be market leaders.

Prior to joining Musgrave, Chris had developed a strong and lengthy career in retail and leisure including CEO of Mothercare plc, Group Finance Director of Storehouse plc and various roles in ASDA and Pizza Hut. 

As a board member of Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), Chris is part of BITCI’s Leaders’ Group on Sustainability, a coalition of Ireland’s leading organisations that are striving to improve the sustainability of the Irish business sector through sharing best practice and creating new ways of doing business. He is also a member of the policy committee for IGD and has participated in the European Commission review of retail competitiveness and in the future of the Irish food sector through Harvest 2020.

An economics graduate of Newcastle University, he is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

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Minister Naughten announces SuperValu & Centra to become the first national food retailers to introduce 100% compostable coffee cups

  • Frank and Honest announces commitment to become the first national coffee brand in Ireland to eliminate non-recyclable single-use cups
  • All Frank and Honest coffee cups to be fully compostable at the end of September
  • 20 new Irish jobs to be created by CupPrint in Ennis, Co. Clare and Down2Earth Materials in Cork to supply compostable cups to Frank and Honest

15th May, 2018 – Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten TD has announced that Frank and Honest, which is available in Centra stores and SuperValu stores across Ireland, will replace all non-recyclable single-use cups with a new compostable cup and lid from September this year. CupPrint and Down2Earth Materials will supply the compostable cups and create 20 new Irish jobs in Ennis and Cork to cater for the increase in production.

The decision to switch to compostable cups has the potential to divert millions of coffee cups from landfill. Consumers will able to dispose of their compostable coffee cups in domestic brown bins. Compostable coffee cups can also be organically recycled in commercial composting facilities around Ireland before being converted into renewable energy or fertiliser.

The announcement forms part of Centra and SuperValu’s overall sustainability strategy and follows the recent introduction of compostable bags in SuperValu to replace the use of plastic bags in the fruit and veg section.

Commenting on the launch of Frank and Honest’s compostable coffee cups, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten TD said: “I would like to commend SuperValu and Centra for making this important commitment. The decision to introduce compostable cups is a significant move that will lead to millions of single-use non-recyclable cups being diverted from landfill annually. Today’s announcement is a significant step that supports my policy priorities in the waste area which includes my desire to work with industry to ensure single-use plastics are eliminated.  I am also really pleased to see two Irish businesses – CupPrint and Down2Earth Materials – benefit as a result of this.”

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of SuperValu and Centra, added: “As Ireland’s biggest grocery and convenience brands, we know that SuperValu and Centra have an important role to play in helping to make more environmentally friendly packaging available to consumers. We have taken this leadership position to eliminate non-recyclable single-use cups and replacing them with compostable coffee cups in line with Minister Naughten’s strategy. Further to this, we are actively looking at how we can make additional improvements in-store and across our supply chain as part of our commitment to make 100% of SuperValu Own Brand and Fresh Produce packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

“We looked for innovative Irish based companies to partner with in order to offer a more sustainable coffee cup solution and we are delighted to work with CupPrint and Down2Earth Materials to deliver this. The job creation this has led to and the environmental benefits our shift to compostable coffee cups will deliver will help leave a more positive impact on the communities we serve every day.”

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SuperValu regains top slot in Irish grocery market

May 8th, 2018 – SuperValu, Ireland’s leading grocery retailer, has regained leadership of the Irish grocery market according to the latest data published today by Kantar Wordpanel Ireland. SuperValu has thanked its customers for their ongoing loyalty and attributed its performance to offering the best combination of value, customer service and quality fresh food in the market.

The food retailer has invested substantially in value, investing €15 million in money-off vouchers for its Real Rewards loyalty programme members from January to Easter, along with an upweighted promotional schedule with a new SuperValu Seven Fruit & Veg offer giving big savings on seven types of fruit and vegetables, along with promotions on healthy ranges, meat and fish and ambient product every week.

SuperValu has also committed to investing €40 million in opening three new stores, carrying out revamps and expanding the availability of its online shopping service in 2018.

SuperValu attributes its ongoing success to the loyalty of its customer base who recognise the contribution that stores make to their local community between sourcing from local suppliers, supporting local initiatives such as sponsorship of TidyTowns, developing tailored services for customers such as becoming the first retailer in Ireland to roll out autism-friendly stores, and taking leadership positions in terms of its environmental impact through initiatives like becoming the first retailer to introduce fully compostable produce bags that consumers can use in-store.

Commenting on its performance, SuperValu Managing Director Martin Kelleher said: “The latest market share data highlights the highly competitive nature of the Irish grocery market, underlining the fact that shoppers know who offers the best value and quality and are voting with their feet by coming to SuperValu. We would like to thank our customers for their ongoing loyalty and reiterate our commitment to delivering them low prices, the best of Irish food and making the changes that customers are asking for in terms of sustainability.

“I’m proud to highlight that we source from over 1,800 Irish suppliers, more than any international chain, and contribute more to causes across the country. When people shop with SuperValu, they know that their money is going back into the local economy between the staff employed in-store, donations and sponsorship of community initiatives, as well as the support we give to thousands of other family businesses between the food producers who we source from and the service providers who help to make what we do possible.”

SuperValu serves over 2.7 million customers every week and has 217 stores nationwide. Together with its retail partners, SuperValu employs approximately 14,500 colleagues, making it one of the State’s largest private sector employers. 75% of everything on SuperValu’s shelves is sourced in Ireland. SuperValu continues to source locally wherever possible which helps to sustain 30,000 jobs in the Irish economy.

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TidyTowns Group to make Westport Ireland’s first plastic straw-free town

9th May – Westport in Co Mayo is on track to become the first town in Ireland to eliminate plastic straws, thanks to the work of its SuperValu TidyTowns committee.

The idea to eradicate single-use straws first came about during a meeting of the Westport TidyTowns committee. The meeting was convened to discuss initiatives that would improve life in the town and that would form the committee’s entry into the 2018 SuperValu TidyTowns competition – which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary.

“We encourage young people to get involved in the TidyTowns committee because they are the future of our town, and the idea to get rid of straws came from the transition year students on the junior committee. We were coming up with different ideas and the teenagers said that all the pubs around have plastic straws – if we could get them all to get rid of them in one go, that would be something,” explains Liam Campion, manager at SuperValu Westport, the Kavanagh Group-owned store that has sponsored Westport’s TidyTowns activities since the 1990s.

 “We thought that getting rid of plastic straws would be a first and looked into it further. Some of the businesses on the committee are vintners and we now have a commitment from all vintners in Westport that they will only use biodegradable straws from June 1st,” Mr Campion says. With some 10 hotels and 30 pubs in the town, the Westport TidyTowns committee is confident that the remaining vintners will come on board and move to ban plastic straws.

Westport has had a long association with the SuperValu TidyTowns competition, having won the national prize on three separate occasions. Kavanagh’s Westport has also been at the forefront of sustainability initiatives in the town, including allowing customers to leave plastic packaging in-store after they do their shopping.

“We are a coastal town and want to preserve the wildlife and nature in Westport, so getting rid of plastic straws helps us to do that,” says Rhona Chambers, who is also a member of Westport TidyTowns committee.

Ms Chambers says that the next step for the TidyTowns committee is to persuade coffee shops, take-aways, food stalls and supermarkets in Westport to replace plastic straws with biodegradable alternatives. With Westport’s population set to grow from 5,000 to 25,000 during the busy tourist season, the involvement of other businesses is crucial to ensure the Mayo town is free of plastic.

“The SuperValu TidyTowns competition is all about businesses and communities working together to make a difference and we hope that by eliminating plastic straws we can make a difference to Westport,” Ms Chambers added.

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu, added, “This is the kind of forward-thinking initiative that the SuperValu TidyTowns competition is all about. Westport TidyTowns has got the next generation involved and through this innovative idea is reducing the environmental impact on the town and its surroundings. As Ireland’s leading, community-based, sustainable retailer, we support their efforts to reduce single-use plastics.”

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Graduate of the Year is building success at Musgrave

A Galway native and NUIG alumnus, graduating in International Business and French, Ross joined the Musgrave Graduate Programme in 2016 as a member of the Store Development team supporting the SuperValu and Centra development programme.

The Musgrave Graduate Programme gave Ross the opportunity to pursue his passion in design and architecture alongside an enthusiasm for retail, creating a solid platform for career satisfaction and growth. Everyone at Musgrave is delighted that Ross was recognised as Graduate Employee of the Year at the gradireland Recruitment Awards 2018 as he has excelled in his role with us. At Musgrave there is a palpable energy and hunger for growth and leadership within the business, which is inspiring for graduates and all colleagues alike. We encourage and invest in our people ensuring they have the tools and the confidence to grow with our business.

We asked Ross to share some of his experience.

Why did you choose the Musgrave Graduate Programme?

Before joining Musgrave, I worked part-time for four years in retail while studying in NUI Galway. I really enjoyed retail work, and decided to pursue a graduate programme in this field. I applied for a number of retail graduate programmes, but what separated Musgrave from the rest was the opportunity to work with a family-owned, Irish business which enables local entrepreneurs to grow successful businesses. The possibility of working with brands such as SuperValu, Centra, Daybreak and Frank & Honest was very appealing, and as a language student I saw Musgrave’s operations in Spain through the Dialprix and Dialsur brands as an opportunity to potentially work abroad

in the future. Also, the position as Store Development Graduate was truly unique, blending retail and interior design into one.

What has been your most stretching experience so far?

Within 6 weeks of joining, with the support of my manager, I was working on a Virtual Reality project using equipment to create 3D Walkthroughs of some of our leading Centra and SuperValu stores, with the goal of engaging our retail partners in the new “look and feel” of our revamped stores. Virtual Reality was new to the business, and a significant investment was made in the equipment.  With the backing of a cross functional team in Musgrave, and the support of some truly innovative and driven retailers the project was a success and the 3D Walkthroughs we created were showcased at our SuperValu and Centra brand conferences. Being trusted to lead this complex project speaks volumes of the Graduate Programme, and the belief that Senior Management have in graduates at Musgrave

That sounds challenging, how did you approach this 3D walkthrough?

When developing the 3D Walkthroughs of our stores, I benchmarked against other retailers such as Albert Heijn in the Netherlands who had used this technology in the past. While their models were very impressive, I felt there was an opportunity to improve by ensuring we demonstrated the highest level of retail standards at the time of shooting. We filmed the stores overnight capturing best-in-class bakery, produce, deli, butchery and general merchandising standards. A huge amount of preparation work went into ensuring the stores looked at their very best in advance of filming. This really brought the walkthroughs to life and helped us engage our retail partners in the new look stores.

How have you been supported on the Programme?

All participants on the Musgrave Graduate Programme participate in a bespoke development programme designed in conjunction with the Irish Management Institute (IMI). For me this has really helped me to develop strong communication skills, self-awareness and resilience as well as practical skills in project management, marketing and finance. Fortnightly meetings with my manager, reflecting on my progress to date allow me to highlight any difficulties I may be experiencing, but also to set goals and identify potential opportunities. My mentor in the business is also a great support. A number of senior managers and directors joined Musgrave as graduates on the programme, which shows that aspiring graduates can reach the highest level in the business. Graduates are also welcome to meet Senior Managers and Directors on a one-to-one basis, demonstrating the respect that exists towards graduates in the organisation.

Why do you think graduates should choose Musgrave?

If you have a passion for food, retail and want to work with exciting brands that enable local businesses to grow and thrive, then Musgrave is the company for you. You will be given ample opportunity to grow as a professional, with strong support from management and a network of previous graduates. Work-life balance is also extremely important to Musgrave; there are sports and social events dotted throughout the calendar as well as regular health and wellbeing initiatives.  It’s the perfect transition from university life to the world of business.

What’s next for you in Musgrave?

When I joined Musgrave, my goal was to become a Retail Project Manager for SuperValu and Centra by the end of my 2 years on the Graduate Programme. My focus for the next 2 to 3 years is to continue to deliver high quality store revamps at lowest cost for our retail partners. One insight from talking to Senior Management is that you can’t plan your career path; opportunities that you couldn’t possibly have predicted will present themselves and in order to continue developing, you have to jump right in. After my experience on the Programme, I feel that the career opportunities in Musgrave are endless.

What advice would you give graduates on how to succeed?

My advice to graduates in any role would be to set clear goals, harness your strengths, take every opportunity that arises and be yourself as much as possible. I have learned that authenticity and honesty can get you a long way in business.

Our 2019 Musgrave Graduate Programme opens for applications in September 2018. Connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram to stay up to date on our opportunities and check out our application tips on www.musgravegraduates.com

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Over 2,500 autism friendly shopping evenings hosted

Today marks the end of Autism Awareness Month but not the end of SuperValu’s commitment to supporting the Autism Community. SuperValu is today delighted to announce their title sponsorship of the AsIAm Conference on October 20th in The Grand Hotel, Malahide.

Since SuperValu’s journey began, over 2,500 Autism Friendly Shopping evenings have taken place around the country and a total of 80 stores around the country are now taking part on a weekly basis.

Over 50,000 families in Ireland live with autism and to understand how SuperValu was making a difference, they spoke to some of their customers a month on from the launch of their campaign encouraging staff and customers to USE PLAIN LANGUAGE, BE PATIENT and BE ACCEPTING. The results demonstrated the scale of the impact on their day-to-day lives and their in-store experience.

Speaking about the sponsorship, Adam Harris, Founder of AsIAm said, ‘We are delighted to have SuperValu on-board as title sponsor for this year’s AsIAm conference. We have been working with SuperValu as a partner for six months now and their values on creating inclusive communities are completely aligned with those of AsIAm, making them the perfect partner for our annual conference. SuperValu has taken the time to work with us to understand how they can build awareness campaigns that can have real impact and we look forward to continuing the journey with them.’

SuperValu Marketing Director, Des O’Mahony said, “At SuperValu our ambition is to align ourselves with organisations that support us in our efforts to build more inclusive communities across Ireland. As Ireland’s first Autism Friendly retailer, we began this journey back in 2016 with Scally’s SuperValu in Clonakilty and we are on track with our roadmap to make y equip and train our store network to fully cater for the needs of the Autism community by the end of 2018. The sponsorship of the AsIAm conference is a significant step on this journey and an affirmation of SuperValu’s promise to maintain this momentum as it continues to roll out the campaign promoting inclusivity across its network of stores.”

Tickets for the conference will be available to buy from Monday 7th May from www.AsIAm.ie.

To find out more about the Autism friendly initiatives in your SuperValu and to download the SuperValu autism friendly shopping tools, visit www.supervalu.ie/autismfriendly.

 

 

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