Musgrave announces transformative sustainability agenda to reduce and eliminate plastic usage and slash carbon footprint

‘Taking Care of Our World’ includes 25 initiatives targeting major reductions in plastics, carbon, food waste and unhealthy foods

Musgrave has today announced a range of new sustainability commitments across its operations and retail brands including plans to reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 70% by 2025, the equivalent of removing 20,000 cars off the road per year or 29,000 tonnes of CO2. Musgrave’s new ‘Taking Care of Our World’ sustainability strategy was launched today by Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton TD.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton TD said: “Industry must show leadership in responding to what is the greatest challenge of our time. The Climate Action Plan is published now. It is our roadmap forward. Every enterprise must look at how they operate their own business, with a view to doing so more sustainably. The strategy being launched today will be welcomed by consumers who are now looking to retailers to act in a way that is more conscious of their impact on the environment. I welcome in particular, the impact this strategy will have on Musgrave’s overall network. The entire retail industry has a powerful role to play in tackling this issue.”

It follows on from Musgrave being named by the Government as one of its Sustainable Development Goal champions in September. The company was one of the first businesses globally to integrate the principles of the UN Sustainable Development Goals into its day-to-day business activities and is committed to raising public awareness of the Goals as an SDG Champion over the coming 12 months.

Musgrave’s ‘Taking Care of Our World’ sustainability strategy consists of 25 commitments to reduce impacts on the environment, improving the health of shoppers and support the well-being of people and communities.  A sample of these commitments include:

  • making 100% of its own brand, fresh produce and in-store packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025;
  • reducing the carbon impact of the company’s operations across the island of Ireland by 70% by 2025;
  • operating all Musgrave facilities with 100% green electricity and sending zero recoverable waste to landfill;
  • ensuring that food surplus is used to alleviate food poverty through partnerships with re-distribution charities and that food waste is minimised;

These commitments follow on from significant progress that Musgrave has already made across a range of areas including:

Plastics

  • Musgrave, through its SuperValu brand now has the largest loose fruit and veg offering in the retail sector with trials on additional items such as coffee, tea, spices and cheese in place;
  • First Irish retailer to introduce 100% reusable compostable shopping bags, removing 2.5 million plastic bags from circulation;
  • Introduction of compostable fruit and veg bags, leading to removal of 2.7 million single use plastic bags;
  • 460 tonnes of non-detectable black plastic fruit and veg trays have been replaced with compostable and recyclable alternatives;
  • 75 tonnes of plastic removed from Own Brand water ranges;
  • The introduction of 100% compostable coffee cups and lids at Frank and Honest, Ireland’s number one coffee brand, diverting 25 million coffee cups from landfill;
  • Moving own brand meal range from black plastic to recyclable green trays, saving 54,000 trays;
  • The use of roll cages across all stores helps to reduce the packaging waste from goods delivered to each outlet;
  • The issuing of guidelines to all Own Brand suppliers about plastics reduction.

Energy

  • Musgrave’s award-winning Head Office building equipped with energy efficiency technology;
  • Musgrave’ retail energy savings are the equivalent to the amount of electricity required to power 17,000 homes;
  • 52,000 light fittings changed to LED since 2015;
  • 1,270 refrigeration cabinets replaced with energy efficient units with doors, resulting in 50% less energy consumption;
  • Annual Fleet Emissions reduced by over 55,000 tonnes annually.

Chris Martin, Musgrave Chief Executive, added: “We have a responsibility to make a difference to the health and well-being of our people, partners and consumers, whilst supporting the communities we serve and reducing our environmental impacts. The need for change is urgent particularly in areas such as health, climate change and plastics; Musgrave is committed to significant operational and behavioural transformation to leave a positive legacy for the generations that follow.”

As a partner to over 1,400 retailers, Musgrave will also help this wider network minimise the environmental and climate change impacts of their operations. Musgrave is supporting independent retailers with expertise, investment and training to make the changes necessary to minimise waste and maximise recycling. The company has already rolled out the largest energy training programme in the country in this respect.

As a member of Repak, Musgrave also funds household recycling bins as well as bottle banks, collection sites and recycling centres around the country that enable consumers to segregate and recycle their waste. This has helped to increase the level of packaging recycled in Ireland from under 15% in 1997 to 90% in recent years. In a bid to increase the rate of recycling, Musgrave has issued guidelines to suppliers about the use of more sustainable packaging materials and is also encouraging shoppers to switch and purchase more eco-frdly items to replace single use plastics. To this end, the company has recently launched a new eco-range – the largest eco-product range of any Irish retailer, with items such as reusable beeswax wrap to replace clingfilm and sandwich bags.

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Musgrave Agrees Acquisition of Drinks Inc

Musgrave has announced that it has agreed to acquire the brand and company assets of Drinks Inc. Drinks Inc will continue to trade as a stand-alone business.

Established in 2001 and with annual turnover of £66 million, Belfast based Drinks Inc is one of the largest and fastest growing independent drinks distributors on the island of Ireland. With a portfolio of over 1,000 products covering the spirits, wines, beer and soft drink categories, Drinks Inc is also the exclusive agent for premium brands and wineries including BrewDog, Dingle Distillery and the UK’s number one wine brand Isla Negra.

Kevin O’Leary has been appointed as the new Business Director of Drinks Inc with Paul Camplisson, Owner of Drinks Inc remaining on a consultancy basis and working closely with Kevin to grow the business.

Commenting about the announcement, Chris Martin, Musgrave Chief Executive, said: “As one of the fastest growing drinks companies on the island of Ireland, Drinks Inc is an excellent strategic fit for Musgrave and will strengthen our existing offer to the market. The acquisition forms part of our overarching Growing Good Business strategy to deliver long term sustainable growth and follows a £28 million investment programme to open 20 additional stores and revamp 40 existing stores in Northern Ireland that was announced earlier this year. I look forward to Drinks Inc joining our expanding portfolio of successful brands and to supporting the business to bring it to the next level of growth.”

Paul Camplisson, Owner of Drinks Inc added: “Becoming part of Musgrave is a fantastic opportunity for the Drinks Inc business. In a relatively short period of time, we have firmly established ourselves as one of the largest independent drinks distributors in the market. Musgrave will enable us to provide an enhanced service to our customers and their track record of growing successful customer-focussed businesses makes this the right move for Drinks Inc.

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SuperValu, Centra & Mace Honoured at Leading NI Retail Awards

Stores from Ballymoney, Belfast, Carrickfergus and Portaferry Crowned Winners

Stores from across the SuperValu, Centra and Mace network were honoured last night at the 21st Neighbourhood Retailer Awards in Belfast.

Centra took home three awards with McGoveran’s Centra Cathedral Quarter picking up Neighbourhood Store of the Year (category 1), Watson’s Centra in Portaferry crowned Neighbourhood Store of the Year (category 2) and Centra Carrickfergus taking home the title of Forecourt of the Year.

Alastair Connor from McCools SuperValu in Ballymoney was named Store Manager of the Year while Mace, Castle Street Belfast was crowned CTN Store of the Year

The awards, a focal point for the retail industry every year, have been rewarding excellence and celebrating success in retailing since 1998. Independently and rigorously judged by Spotcheck, the Neighbourhood Retailer Awards are widely regarded as NI’s premier awards event for the industry, locally and nationally.

Congratulating all stores, Michael McCormack Managing Director of SuperValu, Centra and Mace in Northern Ireland said:

“Congratulations to all our stores on what is a great achievement to be honoured at this level. These wins are testament to the great value, customer service and offering we have across our store networks but also the hard work and dedication that is put in by our teams. Well done to all involved.” 

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Musgrave re-certified to the Business Working Responsibly Mark for the third time

We were delighted to be re-certified with the Business Working Responsibly Mark this week, the third time Musgrave has received this award. The Mark assesses best-in-class Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability practices in areas such as employee engagement, innovation, environmental practices, supply chain management and local community engagement. Musgrave CEO Chris Martin, receiving the award in Dublin said: “The achievement of the Mark strengthens our ability to make a real impact and work in partnership with others to inspire a sustainable network of positive change”.

It follows on from Musgrave being named by the Government as a Sustainable Development Goal champion earlier this year. We were one of the first businesses globally to integrate the principles of the UN Sustainable Development Goals into our day-to-day business activities and are committed to raising public awareness of the Goals as an SDG Champion over the coming 12 months.

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Scally’s SuperValu Wins International Award For Its Autism Friendly Initiatives

Scally’s SuperValu in Clonakilty, Co Cork has won a major international award for its trailblazing autism-friendly initiatives. The Clonakilty store was named winner in the Diversity & Inclusion category of the 2019 IGD Awards, which celebrate the best of the global food and consumer goods industry.

At the gala event at the Tobacco Dock, London, on Thursday, November 7th, Scally’s SuperValu beat global brands such as Coca-Cola and retail groups such as Co-Op Group to scoop the coveted Diversity & Inclusion prize.

Working together with SuperValu, Ireland’s leading food retailer, Scally’s SuperValu has led the way in the Irish food retail sector in championing autism initiatives. As part of SuperValu’s autism-friendly shopping programme, the Clonakilty store has provided specialised training to staff and organised autism-friendly shopping nights in the store.

SuperValu’s autism programme is part of its commitment to building sustainable communities across Ireland. Following on from the launch of its in-store autism-friendly initiatives, last year, Scally’s worked together with autism charity AsIAm and other local businesses in the Cork town to gain recognition for Clonakilty as Ireland’s first autism-friendly town.

Scally’s innovative approach to inclusion has led to 10 other towns in Ireland becoming autism-friendly and 90 other SuperValu stores offering tailored services for people with autism.

Speaking about the award win, Eugene Scally, Scally’s SuperValu Clonakilty, said, “I am delighted to accept the IGD Award for Diversity & Inclusion award on behalf of all the hard-working, dedicated team in Scally’s SuperValu. Winning this award demonstrates that by working together with our customers and the local community in Clonakilty to introduce autism-friendly initiatives, we can make a real, positive difference to people’s lives.”

The IGD Diversity & Inclusion Award win follows Scally’s SuperValu winning two categories at the Best in Fresh awards, where the store was recognised for Excellence in Fresh Food Retailing in a Large Supermarket and for Ireland’s Best Fresh Meat Offering.

SuperValu has 220 stores nationwide and serves over 2.6 million customers every week. SuperValu continues to source locally wherever possible, with 75% of everything on SuperValu’s shelves sourced in Ireland, helping to sustain 30,000 jobs in the Irish economy.

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Charity Partnership is One in 3 Million

SuperValu & Centra reach milestone £3 million fundraising target for Action Cancer

In what is a ground-breaking achievement, SuperValu and Centra retailers have reached a landmark fundraising target of £3 million for Action Cancer – one of the largest amounts ever raised by a company for an individual charity in Northern Ireland.

Thanks to the commitment of SuperValu and Centra retailers in Northern Ireland, Action Cancer is able to provide life-saving services in local communities through the Big Bus as well as the Health Action Programme (HAP).

Michael McCormack, Managing Director of SuperValu and Centra said:

“We are proud to have reached our £3 million fundraising target for Action Cancer. Our retailers and colleagues have worked tirelessly over the years to raise money and this impressive result is testament to their dedication.”

 The Health Action Programme is all about championing health promotion and empowering local children to make the right choices when it comes to their health and lifestyles. The programme has worked with nearly 500,000 pupils across Northern Ireland and Michael McCormack stresses the importance of delivering a healthy lifestyle message to today’s younger generation.

Commenting on the impact of the programme, Mr McCormack said:

“Encouraging healthier lifestyles in younger years can reduce the risks of cancer in later life, so ensuring that this message resonates with our young people is something that SuperValu and Centra passionately support. Our retailers have worked tirelessly to raise over £3million, to enable Action Cancer to continue providing this fantastic service.”   

The Big Bus, which now visits both SuperValu and Centra stores, is a mobile resource centre, providing digital breast screening for women as well as offering M.O.T. health checks for men and women aged 16 and over. In the first half of 2019, the Big Bus has travelled to over 151 locations, providing over 1,963 MOT Health Checks and over 3,624 breast screenings, with an average of six women diagnosed with Breast Cancer per 1,000 women screened.

Gareth Kirk, CEO of Action Cancer stresses the importance of keeping this service on the road:

“The Big Bus touches people’s lives in different ways. For some women, it’s an early breast cancer detection, saving their lives. For others, it’s reassurance that they do not have the disease. Many other men and women gain valuable first-hand insights about their health and how to reduce their risk of cancer. The Big Bus is fuelled by the passion and commitment of our staff, alongside our partners at SuperValu and Centra whose valuable fundraising has made this crucial service possible; together we make a difference to local people every day.”

The longstanding partnership goes back 18 years to 2001 with SuperValu and Centra retailers supporting the vital work of Action Cancer and making a tangible and valuable impact to the people of Northern Ireland.  The SuperValu, Centra and Action Cancer partnership continues to go from strength to strength with plans already in place for a brand-new Big Bus to be unveiled in 2020 and retailers actively looking at new ways to fundraise.

Michael McCormack, Managing Director of SuperValu and Centra, concludes:

“This fundraising milestone is a result of the dedication of our retailers and colleagues – and importantly – the generosity of our customers; we want to say thank you to them for helping us to support the incredible work of Action Cancer.”

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Centra expansion continues with £920k investment in 3 new stores

New convenience stores open at Millennium Forum, Bradbury Place and York Road

Centra is bringing enhanced convenience to customers across Northern Ireland with new stores opening at Bradbury Place and York Road in Belfast and the Millennium Forum in Derry~Londonderry. The three stores represent an investment of £920,000 by the leading NI retailer, creating an employment boost of 40 jobs.

Commenting on Centra’s continued expansion, Nigel Maxwell Sales Director Centra Northern Ireland said: “At Centra, our focus is on redefining convenience – providing our shoppers with a healthier offering and innovative ranges, particularly in food-to go and our Frank and Honest coffee brand. Our shoppers expect fresh, nutritious, inspiring and delicious food that is quick, easy and value for money. These stores are the latest examples of Centra providing just that and responding to the changing needs of the busy consumer.”  

Centra Millennium Forum, which opened its doors to the public on 9th October, is located on New Market Street in Derry City and is the first store for retailer Conor Kelly. The store offers customers a new and modern experience including a hot and cold deli, Frank & Honest coffee and a comfortable seating area for customers to come in and relax.

Centra Bradbury Place, located beside Shaftesbury Square, is the fourth store, for retailers Ricky and Vicky Leathem. A prime location in Belfast City centre, the new vibrant and contemporary store opened on 15th October and is certain to be a one-stop-shop for residents and workers in the area, catering for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Perfect for lunch on-the-go, the store features a variety of options to satisfy every craving. For those embracing a healthier lifestyle, Centra Bradbury Place has a range of lighter choices, with fresh salad and sandwich favourites, courtesy of their Green Kitchen hot and cold deli. The couple also own Centra stores on the Lisburn Road in Belfast, and two stores in Lisburn – Ballynahinch Road and Longstone Street.

Centra York Road has been rebranded from a MACE store and is owned by retailers Gareth and Tracey Beacom. The store now boasts a brand new hot and cold deli, Frank and Honest coffee, as well as a much-enhanced range of meal solutions and chilled products ensuring all mealtimes are catered for.

Speaking about the new developments, Nigel Maxwell continued: “We are delighted to see these stores coming on stream and the hard work by our teams coming to fruition. The stores are all trading well, reporting strong sales in their first few weeks and I wish the retailers and their teams every success.”

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Clonakilty Celebrates One Year of Being Ireland’s First Autism Friendly Town

In October 2018, Clonakilty, through the partnership with AsIAm and SuperValu alongside local retailers Eugene and Catriona Scally of Scally’s SuperValu, became Ireland’s first ever Autism Friendly Town. Their journey to becoming Autism-Friendly saw businesses, organisations and community groups throughout Clonakilty undergo training and organisational changes to receive accreditation. This initiative and accreditation was a first for anywhere in Ireland and the last year has been an incredible success for the whole Clonakilty community. The aim of this SuperValu and AsIAm initiative is to create a greater awareness, understanding and acceptance of autism so that our communities become more accessible and enjoyable places for autistic people to live in.

Clonakilty’s journey to becoming Autism Friendly began in 2015 when Scally’s SuperValu became the first retailer in Ireland to implement changes in-store ensuring members of the Autism Community could enjoy a better shopping experience. Since then the entire community has got behind the initiative and Eugene Scally of Scally’s SuperValu, Clonakilty said “We are only one year into this initiative and already the awareness of autism in Clonakilty has increased so much and the positive impact on the community is clear. The feedback we have received not just in our store but across all organisations and businesses throughout the community from both locals and visitors has been overwhelmingly positive. The work the committee has done during this journey has created a conversation around autism in the town and made Clonakilty a better place for autistic people and their families to live, work and visit. Not only are locals telling us about how much more inclusive and accessible Clonakilty is but tourists with autism have shared how much they have enjoyed visiting a town that accommodates their needs.”

One of the most popular additions to Clonakilty during this journey has been the sensory garden. Located on the grounds of the West Cork Model Railway the sensory garden was developed to create an environment within the community that would enrich the lives of children and adults living with Autism by providing opportunities to play and explore in a safe and secure space all while enjoying a calming sensory experience. The garden features elements that appeal to all five senses using a range of materials and plants. Exploration in nature improves physical, sensory and emotional health and supports overall well-being and parents have commented that their children have found the garden captivating and engaging, asking to return again and again.

To celebrate the anniversary Alan Gardner star of the Channel 4 programme, The Autistic Gardener visited Clonakilty to see Ireland’s first Autism Friendly town and share how autism has made him one of the world’s leading landscape designers and how autistic people can focus on their strengths to find careers they enjoy. He said “I am delighted to be in Clonakilty to celebrate the first anniversary of the community becoming Autism Friendly. It is clear to see it’s an initiative the whole community had got behind and a great example of how when understanding of autism increases the positive impact it can have for autistic people in all areas of their lives from shopping to employment.”

A key theme of the celebrations this week in Clonakilty is employment and autism. The community are turning their focus on how they can support the autism community find work experience and employment that works to their strengths.

SuperValu Marketing Director, Ray Kelly said, “Supporting Clonakilty on their journey to become Autism Friendly was a proud moment for SuperValu last year. It is our ambition at SuperValu to build more inclusive communities across Ireland and Clonakilty has proved a massive success. The work the Clonakilty community did to receive the accreditation and in the year since is truly impressive and we look forward to continuing our support of Clonakilty and the other 11 towns that have just begun their journey to become accredited Autism Friendly Towns

SuperValu is committed to raising understanding and awareness of autism among its customers and staff. With over 50,000 families in Ireland living with autism, those affected face barriers to inclusion because of the attitudes of people who may not have first-hand experience of autism.

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Big School Cook Off Competition returns for 4th year with SuperValu on board once again

Form 8 pupils Sophia Little and Eva Bagnall, from Aquinas Diocesan Grammar, join Noel McMeel, Executive Head Chef of Lough Erne Resort, Caitriona Lennox, Mount Charles’ Business Development Manager, Brendan Gallen, Head of Marketing at SuperValu and James Street South owner and Head Chef Niall McKenna to help launch this year’s Mount Charles Big School Cook Off Competition, in association with SuperValu.[/caption]

The annual Mount Charles Big School Cook Off Competition, in association with SuperValu, launches with top chefs in NI calling for students interested in cooking, to get involved.

The competition, now in its fourth year, is open to all post primary school pupils across Northern Ireland and Donegal, aged between 11 and 14.

Young people in teams of two are challenged to submit a main course recipe idea that feeds two, focusing on locally sourced ingredients that can be bought on a budget of a tenner, or euro equivalent.

The recipes will be shortlisted on Friday 22nd of November, one per county, and the winning team from each county will progress to cook their recipe for an esteemed panel of judges at the grand finale of the competition next March, in Belfast Met’s Titanic Quarter Campus. County finalists will also be invited to perform a cookery demonstration of their dish, at their local SuperValu store in January, ahead of the final.

Launching this years’ competition, Mount Charles’ Business Development Manager, Caitriona Lennox said:

“This competition is first and foremost an exercise in addressing the serious skills gap in the food service industry in Northern Ireland, by encouraging the next generation of potential young chefs to learn about food provenance and get cooking. We want to support kids with a passion for cooking and give them an insight into the hospitality industry. We’re hoping it will inspire them to consider a career in foodservice and we’ll do what we can to support their future training and skills development.

“Teacher feedback has been amazing, and the competition is growing year on year. Schools are taking part because of the experience it offers the pupils, as well as the great prizes on offer and the kudos of winning the biggest and most prestigious cooking competition in the schools’ calendar,” she said.

Brendan Gallen, Head of Marketing at SuperValu said:

“SuperValu is delighted to be involved once again in this great initiative giving our top young foodies a chance to showcase their talents. Good luck to everyone entering and we look forward to welcoming the regional finalists to their local SuperValu for live demos next year.”

Speaking on behalf of NI chefs championing the competition, Executive Head Chef of Lough Erne Resort, Noel McMeel said:

“We are delighted to lend our support to this initiative, it’s our duty to connect and do more within hospitality and show the next generation of catering professionals how rewarding this industry can be. We’re encouraging pupils aged between 11 and 14 to go to their teachers and tell them you want to be involved. We’ve also shared our best advice in interviews that will run throughout the competition registration period on Belfast Live, to inspire students who want to join our industry. Cooking for the judges in the grand final will also be a wonderful experience and could open the doors to a fantastic future in catering.”

This year teams are asked to submit their recipe ideas by uploading a word document or a video to www.bigschoolcookoff.co.uk detailing their recipe choice, locality and seasonality of their ingredients and how they researched and tested their dish.

Full competition terms and conditions can be found at www.bigschoolcookoff.co.uk

 

 

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SuperValu and Centra host scrumdidlyumptious party for action cancer

Leading convenience retailers on final push to reach £3 million fundraising target

Leading retailers SuperValu and Centra will host a special Scrumdidlyumptious party in stores right across Northern Ireland this Saturday, as they edge closer to their £3 million fundraising target for charity partner, Action Cancer. The party will take place in selected stores on Saturday 12th October from 12-3PM, with all funds raised donated to Action Cancer, NI’s leading local cancer charity.

SuperValu and Centra have supported Action Cancer since 2001. Every year, Centra and SuperValu retailers and their customers pull out all the stops to raise much-needed funds for the cancer charity. It is hoped the nationwide fundraiser, which coincides with the 55th anniversary year of the hit Roald Dahl novel, will bring the retailers closer to their milestone £3million target. It is believed this will be amongst the largest amounts ever raised by a company for an individual charity in Northern Ireland.

Funds raised by SuperValu and Centra support a range of projects, including the Big Bus mobile breast screening unit and the Health Action Programme for Children, which encourages children to take steps to prevent cancer in later life.

Brendan Gallen Head of Marketing for SuperValu and Centra said: “The money raised by SuperValu and Centra retailers over the years for Action Cancer has been vital to keeping the Big Bus on the road and delivering much needed MOT health checks and screening services to those who wouldn’t otherwise be screened for breast cancer. The funds raised also support Action Cancer in delivering the Health Action Programme in schools across the province, helping to increase awareness of healthy lifestyle choices among young people.   

“To continue supporting all this great work, we are asking our customers to visit their local SuperValu or Centra store on Saturday 12th October, to enjoy the array of treats that will be on offer and dig deep to support this truly lifesaving cause.”

 

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