SuperValu Partners with Kepak to Launch Lamb Producer Guidelines

28 June 2021: SuperValu has become the first Irish retailer to introduce guidance to support farmers in producing best-in-class lamb to deliver consistently on quality and sustain lamb production to the highest animal welfare and environmental standards.

The Lamb Producer Guidelines were developed by SuperValu in association with Kepak, which supplies SuperValu stores across the country with the highest quality meat from independent Irish farmers.

The publication of the guidelines underscores the commitment of both SuperValu and Kepak to sourcing the highest quality produce from Irish farms that adhere to strict animal welfare guidelines and that are dedicated to enhancing sustainability practices. These factors contribute to high animal and food safety, as well as sustaining and enhancing the quality of Irish lamb for consumers, while protecting the natural environment and biodiversity for years to come.

Commenting on the launch of the Lamb Producer Guidelines, Ray Bowe, Head of Food Safety & Quality, Musgrave, said:“SuperValu has a long-standing commitment to Irish farmers and is an active promoter of sustainable agriculture. Our independently owned stores are committed to providing the highest quality, locally sourced produce to our customers. We are very pleased that this guide will provide the support and advice that Irish lamb producers need to access our supply chain. The guidelines also secure access for SuperValu to a consistent supply of our sustainably produced high-quality, locally sourced lamb.”

Also commenting, Simon Walker, CEO of Kepak said: “We are delighted to partner with SuperValu to publish these innovative Lamb Producer Guidelines, which promote best-in-class lamb production and provide key guidance, advice and recommendations to Irish sheep farmers. Animal welfare and environmental sustainability are a major focus of the guidelines highlighting how we need to consistently meet consumers’ evolving needs and expectations. The guide underlines our dedicated and continued efforts to supply local, high quality lamb to Irish consumers.”

The innovative guidelines act as a link between producers and consumers, providing best in practice advice and guidance to farmers on enhancing the quality of their lamb under a diverse range of key criteria, including breeding and genetics, animal nutrition, health at lambing and transportation. Separately, animal welfare is a key focus of the guidelines, which outline how good animal health and nutrition is imperative in helping to meet evolving high industry and consumer expectations around welfare, food safety and sustainable farming practices linked to enhancing the environment and biodiversity.

SuperValu’s Lamb Producer Guidelines follow the publication of its Beef Producer Guidelines in 2018 which provide best practice production guidance and support to Irish beef farmers in terms of animal welfare, health, breeding and genetics and transportation.

Producers are encouraged to discuss topics raised in the guidance document with their local procurement and agricultural team for further advice for their specific production system.

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Drinks Inc. Celebrates 20 Years in Business

Ambitious plans for expansion as part of Musgrave Group

Drinks Inc. is celebrating a landmark 20 years in business. The company is now an integral part of the Musgrave Group in Northern Ireland, following its acquisition in 2019, and has set out ambitious growth plans to further expand its footprint in the beverage sector.

Musgrave Wholesale Director Richard Mayne, who leads the team at Drinks Inc., commented on the business milestone –

“Twenty years in business is a fantastic achievement and is testament to the strong team in place at Drinks Inc. This industry knowledge, combined with Musgrave’s longstanding track record in foodservice and retail, is a perfect pairing as we continue to expand our position in the alcohol market.”

Established in 2001, Belfast based Drinks Inc. is one of the largest and fastest growing drinks distributors on the island of Ireland. With a portfolio of over 1,000 products covering spirit, wine, beer and soft drink categories, their range and offer has been key to this growth. In addition, the company is also the exclusive agent for a large number of premium brands and wineries, including Teeling Whiskey, Mionetto Prosecco and market leading wine brands such as Isla Negra and Trivento Reserve.

Drinks Inc’s customer-focused sales team supported by a dedicated in-house logistics team allows them to offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all alcohol needs. This, in conjunction with no delivery charges and no minimum order size, has helped facilitate unrivalled customer service over the years.

While the pandemic brought many challenges for the business, Richard is quick to praise the team for their support to the industry –   

“While the 2020 lockdowns were extremely challenging for the on-trade, we made a commitment to keep our sales teams on the road. This ensured they could stay engaged and assist our customers throughout the uncertainty.’’

“Furthermore, with the hospitality sector now opened again, we have been able to hit the ground running with our plans, working as a trusted partner with our customers and collectively coming back stronger.”

“At the same time within the off-trade, we have clearly seen significant increases in volume over the last 14 months and again, by maintaining our presence in the market we have been able to tailor our offer to meet the needs of new and existing customers.’’

The Drinks Inc. anniversary month coincides with the reopening of local hospitality in Northern Ireland following the easing of lockdown restrictions. With many exciting developments in the pipeline, the team will be able to further engage with customers and help them navigate the demands of the post-Covid environment.

Looking to the future, Richard continues:

“We’re now confident that building on the 20 years of industry experience and with the recent additions to the team and portfolio, we’re in a fantastic position to take Drinks Inc. to the next level.”

As part of the ambitious growth plans, the Drinks Inc. team is expanding with the announcement of Tom Kinnier as Sales Manager and Peter McBride as Wine Specialist.  Collectively Tom and Peter bring a breadth of industry experience and product knowledge.

In conclusion Richard summarised:   

“We are hopefully coming through the far side of the pandemic and on behalf of all the team, I would like to praise the resilience of our customers and thank them for their ongoing support during this extraordinary period of trading.’’

 

Photos: (Top) Celebrating 20 years in business are the sales team at Drinks Inc with Musgrave wholesale director, Richard Mayne (front centre). (Bottom L-R) Tom Kinnier, sales manager; Peter McBride, wine specialist and Richard Mayne, wholesale director of Drinks Inc.

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SuperValu encourages Irish shoppers to Buy Irish & Support Local this June for Guaranteed Irish Food Month

For every €1 spent on Irish goods €5 comes back to the Irish economy*

80% of survey respondents underestimate the positive impact of shopping local

31st May 2021 – To mark Guaranteed Irish Food Month SuperValu, Ireland’s leading food retailer is partnering with Guaranteed Irish to encourage shoppers to buy Irish and support local this June. The call comes as a staggering 93% of respondents to a survey said they try to buy Irish foods when they shop.

The research also shows that when it comes to buying Irish, the top four reasons included: to support jobs (76%), support local producers (72%), the quality of local food is better (51%) and because shopping local has less of an environmental impact (47%).

However, the research showed that respondents underestimate the positive return of shopping local and the positive impact it can have on economic recovery following Covid-19. Eurostats research shows that for every €1 spent on Irish goods, €5 comes back to the Irish economy, a boost which could be hugely beneficial to local producers as they look to rebound following the pandemic.

80% of the survey respondents underestimated this return: 47% of consumers believe that for every €1 spent it delivers €1 to the Irish economy, 33% believe it delivers twice the return, €2 for every €1 spent, and only 20% of respondents recognise that for every €1 spent on Irish goods, €5 comes back to the Irish economy. With Ibec stating that 250,000 jobs are linked to the agri-food sector, imagine if everyone understood how simple it was to support the Irish economy.

Consumers also think they are spending more on Irish products since Covid, with 20% of respondents stating they are spending close to an additional €10 weekly on Irish products. In line with previous research, consumers said when it comes to buying Irish 72% try to buy staple products, such as bread, dairy and meats, while 40% prefer to select Irish artisan food products such as jams, sauces and cheeses.

Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, Musgrave Retail Partners said: “We have always believed in supporting local and this has taken on added importance during Covid-19. Throughout the pandemic we have been doing what we can to support local producers and to generate awareness of Irish brands through our work with Food Academy, our Monday Market initiative and Sustainability Sundays. This June as the country reopens to hospitality, we want to go a step further and call on the Irish public to buy Irish and support local whether it’s your local food producer, shop or café for Guaranteed Irish Food Month.”

“At SuperValu 75% of all our goods are sourced in Ireland, supporting a massive 1,800 Irish suppliers so we know first-hand the importance of supporting local Irish producers. Today’s research shows that a massive 80% of consumers underestimate the positive return of shopping local, this June if consumers purchased one additional Irish product weekly, imagine the positive impact we could have on jobs throughout Ireland.”

According to the new research 30% of consumers recognise SuperValu as the leading retailer when it comes to stocking the best Irish food products. A further 79% of respondents said they keep an eye out for the Guaranteed Irish logo when they are doing their food shopping.

Speaking about the launch, Bríd O’Connell, CEO Guaranteed Irish said: “We already know that through the multiplier effect every €100 that is spent in the local economy is actually worth €500 to that same local economy (Eurostats). This effect works in such a way that when money is spent locally it circulates and is retained within that local economy, re-injected through further expenditure on local goods, services, and wages – as opposed to ‘disappearing’.  The manufacture of food and drink products is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s most 9.7% of total employment in the four economically weakest important indigenous industry and accounts for regions – proving to be a strong driver of regional development. In supporting Guaranteed Irish Food Month this June and through initiatives such as Monday Market, SuperValu are encouraging their customers to stand up for Irish producers and support local. Research by Guaranteed Irish showed that 70% of consumers look for an Irish quality mark of “trust” and 77% want to know if the ingredients are truly Irish, so the desire to support local is there and we hope to see Irish consumers support local this food month.”

*Eurostats – Research conducted between May 17th – May 20th 2021, representative sample of 521.

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Musgrave MarketPlace invests €650,000 to support the reopening of hospitality

#SupportIrishHospitality campaign aims to help reboot hospitality businesses across the country

31 May 2021 – Musgrave MarketPlace, Ireland’s leading wholesale supplier to foodservice, retail, and SME businesses, today announced it is investing €650,000 to support the reopening of Irish hospitality at the beginning of June. As part of this investment, Musgrave MarketPlace has launched a range of new initiatives to support the industry and assist the reboot and recovery of the sector.

From today (31st May 2021), Musgrave MarketPlace will roll out a nationwide campaign to encourage consumers to support their local hospitality businesses. #SupportIrishHospitality will include press ads in seven national dailies and nationwide radio, digital and social media advertising campaigns calling on consumers to help the industry get back on its feet by dining out responsibly.

Musgrave MarketPlace will also be using its social channels to spotlight local hospitality businesses around the country throughout the campaign as well as giving consumers a chance to win vouchers for their favourite local eateries.

It is estimated that the foodservice industry was worth €6.3bn pre-COVID employing between 150,000 and 250,000 people making it vital to the recovery of the economy.

In addition to rallying consumer support, Musgrave MarketPlace has also created a series of new measures to help hospitality businesses get back up and running. These include:

  1. Extended opening hours: Musgrave MarketPlace branches across the country will now be open for longer with some branches open 7 days a week (from June 6th) to allow customers more access to products as and when they need them.
  2. Time saving products: Based on feedback from the industry earlier this year, Musgrave MarketPlace has new labour-saving products such as pre-prepared vegetables, desserts, and sauces to save time in the kitchen and help ease the impact of reduced staff numbers.
  3. Increased network support: To help manage the surge in demand over the coming days, Musgrave MarketPlace has increased its driver pool by 33% to accommodate more deliveries as well as increasing the number of customer service representatives available in branches nationwide to help facilitate customers’ needs during the recovery period.
  4. Food service promotions: The cost of 200 products, including food and equipment, has been reduced to support customers as they restock their business.
  5. Irish suppliers: 680 Irish suppliers have been re-engaged by Musgrave MarketPlace to rebuild stock levels and over 3,500 Irish products are available from Musgrave MarketPlace.
  6. Dedicated online hub: Creation of a dedicated online Foodservice support hub featuring reopening advice, menu inspiration and great value offers to help customers reboot their business.
  7. Musgrave MarketPlace Plus: An affinity scheme, in partnership with Wrkit, has been created to help customers cut costs with a range of offers and discounts on everything from insurance to fuel to recruitment and much more. There is also the opportunity for customers to promote their business to over 100,000 users on the Wrkit platform.

Commenting on today’s announcement Michael McCormack, Managing Director of Musgrave Wholesale Partners said:

The reopening of hospitality marks an important milestone for our customers, suppliers and indeed Ireland’s economic recovery. As an Irish family-owned business with 145 years supporting hospitality here, local is in our DNA. Our #SupportIrishHospitality campaign is about giving our customers and indeed the hospitality sector as much support as we possibly can as they reopen, whether that be through our reboot resource designed in collaboration with our customers or an advertising campaign aimed at encouraging the consumer to support hospitality. Luck alone will not be enough – the sector needs all our support.”

Welcoming the campaign, Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland said:

This is a critical time for our industry and businesses across the country need our support now more than ever. The measures introduced by Musgrave MarketPlace are hugely welcome and will go a long way to helping the industry recover. Key to the success of the reopening of the industry will be customers supporting their local hospitality businesses so we would urge consumers to get behind the campaign and show their support.”

Lorraine Heskin, Musgrave MarketPlace customer and CEO of The Gourmet Food Parlour said:

We’re really looking forward to welcoming customers back into our restaurants from June. It has been an extremely difficult time for the industry, but we are hopeful that we can bounce back over the coming months. We are a longstanding customer of Musgrave MarketPlace and we hugely value the help and supports they have put in place to aid the reboot of the sector. The #SupportIrishHospitality campaign is a fantastic initiative, and I would urge consumers to support their local eateries when they reopen in June.”

The Musgrave MarketPlace #SupportIrishHospitality campaign is live from today. To find out more visit www.musgravemarketplace.ie or visit us on Facebook

 

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Minister Humphreys announces return of Supervalu Tidy Towns Competition

  • Iconic competition makes comeback following Covid-19 disruption
  • TidyTowns groups to showcase their communities via electronic entry
  • New prize category to recognise role played by volunteers throughout pandemic
  • Special award for young people as per commitment under ‘Our Rural Future’
  • Over 800 Tidy Towns groups across the country have been awarded special €1,000 grant to support their efforts

 The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (21st May, 2021) announced the return of the Supervalu Tidy Towns Competition.

The iconic competition was cancelled in 2020 – for the first time in over 60 years – due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

But special arrangements have now been put in place to ensure the return of the competition this year, with the overall winners due to be announced before the end of the year.

The 2021 Supervalu Tidy Towns competition will take place in the same format as previous years, albeit with a specific emphasis on electronic entry and remote adjudication of each town’s entry.

Groups should continue to adhere to public health guidelines as they have done so remarkably well since the onset of the Pandemic.

The health and safety of volunteers continues to be paramount.

It is acknowledged that volunteers have not been able to deliver on all of the plans that they may have had for their towns, and the competition adjudicators will be mindful of this fact when assessing entries.

At the same time, many groups have still been very active and the standard of competition is expected to be high again this year amongst the almost 1,000 TidyTowns groups around the country.

Above all, staging the competition this year is a recognition of the extraordinary contribution volunteers continued to make to their communities, even during the Pandemic itself.

For this reason, Minister Humphreys has introduced a new award category aimed at groups that have continued to serve and look after their communities despite the difficulties posed by Covid-19.

The Minister has also introduced a special prize for young people, which was committed to under Our Rural Future – ­the Government’s ambitious new strategy for Rural Ireland.

Minister Humphreys announced a €1 million fund in December to further support the Tidy Towns Groups across the country.

Today, the Minister confirmed that over 800 Tidy Town Groups have now been awarded grants of up to €1,000 under this Fund

Minister Humphreys today formally launched the 2021 Supervalu Tidy Towns Competition in Glaslough, County Monaghan – the 2019 winners of the competition.

Speaking in Glaslough, Minister Humphreys said:

“Missing out on the competition last year was very disappointing for everyone associated with TidyTowns. That’s why I am delighted to announce that this iconic competition is back.

“I am sure the thousands of volunteers around the country are relieved that we have finally reached the point where we can launch the 2021 Supervalu Tidy Towns competition and are excited for the months ahead.

“While the last year has been so challenging for everyone, I know that so many Tidy Towns volunteers the length and breadth of the country have continued to look after their communities.

“Many groups have been unable to deliver on the projects they had planned due to Covid-19.

“That will not impact in any shape or form on this year’s competition and I am encouraging each and every one of the 987 registered groups across the country to enter once again.”

Also speaking about the launch today, Ian Allen, Managing Director of SuperValu:

“This year marks 30 years of SuperValu’s continuous support for and sponsorship of the national TidyTowns competition.

“As one of the longest-running community and sustainability initiatives in Ireland, TidyTowns is an incredibly important programme that all of us at SuperValu are immensely proud to be a part of.

“At its heart, TidyTowns is the public expression of the work countless individuals undertake to make our communities better places in which to work and live.

“Following a year like no other, this year’s competition is about recognising work of volunteers who have continued in every way possible and collectively help to lift the mood of the nation.”

The Minister continued:

“TidyTowns is not just a competition. It demonstrates everything good about our people – volunteerism, positivity, working together, community spirit, protecting our environment, that sense of pride in looking after the place you call home. 

“This is a really special day. I want to pay tribute to the huge role played by TidyTowns groups in inspiring vibrant communities and generating a spirit of volunteerism in towns and villages across the country – qualities that are at the core of “Our Rural Future”.

“I am also pleased to include a special award this year for young people involved in TidyTowns which is a specific recommendation contained in the Government’s strategy for Rural Ireland. I would also encourage local groups to continue their great efforts at promoting and enhancing biodiversity in our local towns.

“TidyTowns volunteers are rightly proud of their locality – their efforts make towns and villages the length and breadth of the country better places to live and to visit.  For years, TidyTowns volunteers have shown great resilience and determination – even more so over the past year as our communities came together in the face of adversity.

“In recognition of this, we have also introduced a special award to recognise the contribution that TidyTowns groups have made to their communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including as part of the Covid-19 Community call.

“As we look ahead to an outdoor Summer and staycations, we want our local towns and villages right across the country to be attractive, welcoming places. The trojan work carried out by our local Tidy Towns volunteers will be central to achieving that. My message is clear – Tidy Towns is back this year and it is bigger, better and more important than ever.”

Minister Humphreys concluded:

“I value the role my Department plays in this competition. I want to also commend the competition sponsor, SuperValu, for their continuing support and enthusiasm in raising awareness of the competition. Now in their 30th year of sponsorship, through their nationwide network of retailers, SuperValu have helped the competition to become the best known sustainable and environmental initiative in Ireland.

“Finally, I want to encourage all groups to continue to adhere to the public health advice and I wish all the volunteers the very best in this year’s competition.”

Further details on the competition and access to supporting resources are available at www.tidytowns.ie

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Vanishing Ireland Series 2021, Supported by SuperValu, Profiles Ireland’s Elders to Learn from the Past in helping Shape the Future

Former Broadcaster Anne Doyle calls on the nation to nominate family to share life stories

18th May 2021: Twenty years since the acclaimed Vanishing Ireland project began, author and historian, Turtle Bunbury is creating a new series of profile interviews with Ireland’s elders to share their life stories. Kindly supported by SuperValu, former broadcaster and nations’ favourite Anne Doyle, are putting the call out to the people of Ireland to propose family members or friends over the age of 70, who would like to share their stories.

Vanishing Ireland with Turtle Bunbury is a podcast series of interviews with Ireland’s over 70’s, celebrating their life stories, challenges, courage, kindness and humour. The series seeks to document the, very often, extraordinary lives of our older population in a way that celebrates the past while informing younger generations in shaping the future. This new series aims to highlight the wealth of humour, resilience and wisdom from Ireland’s elders. Created in audio format, Turtle will discuss life and its learnings with people across Ireland, saving and celebrating their voices for future generations.

Speaking about the Vanishing Ireland Series, Bunbury says: “Twenty years ago, I teamed up with the renowned photographer James Fennell to create what became the first Vanishing Ireland book. We knew how important it was to chronicle the experience of our older generations, so many of whose fascinating lives were literally vanishing, unrecorded. Introducing the voices of Vanishing Ireland to the podcast generation is an entirely new departure for our elders but is deeply exciting and very much in keeping with our aims. It is my great hope that listening to these interviews – the wisdom, the humour, the memories – will enhance the way we live our own lives.”

Given the unique position SuperValu has as part of so many communities and its national reach with initiatives such as Tidy Towns, GAA, the Autism Community and others, it is uniquely placed to bring this project nationwide appeal with a solid footprint in community.

Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, SuperValu said: “The Vanishing Ireland project has a robust track record in championing local heroes and strengthening the bond between the generations. We are a resilient nation who appreciate our older generations and embrace traditions while also looking to the future for a better Ireland for everyone. SuperValu understand inter-generational communities who are diverse and inclusive as we are lucky to see it every day in our stores around the country and in campaigns such as Tidy Towns, which brings everyone together. We are delighted to support Turtle with this series.”

Taking part in the launch former broadcaster Anne Doyle added, “this is such a special series documenting the stories of the past so that they are captured in history forever. I am delighted to work alongside SuperValu and Turtle Bunbury to ensure these stories are available for many generations to come.

I encourage you to enter family members to be part of this wonderful series. It’s high time we hear from our older generation and revisit our past with its rich history. We can all learn something from the experience.”

The mission of Vanishing Ireland has always been to preserve the stories of the older generations, bringing to life the world that our grandparents knew in a manner that appeals to a 21st century audience. The hope is for Vanishing Ireland supported by SuperValu to inspire children and grandchildren to listen to the stories of their own parents and grandparents, as well as older friends and neighbours, creating a record of memories for future generations.

Those who would like to put forward friends or family over 70’s, are asked to email podcast@vanishingireland.com or visit www.vanishingireland.com. Closing date for entries is Friday, 4th June 2021.

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Food Academy’s Irish food and drink start-ups are optimistic as 93% expect revenue growth in 2021

SuperValu supported by Bord Bia & Local Enterprise Offices launches 45 new Food Academy Producers in stores

12th May 2021: According to new research by SuperValu, Irish food and drinks start-ups are optimistic about their future growth, with 93% indicating they expect revenue growth in 2021. Despite the various challenges posed for the sector by the COVID-19 pandemic, 71% of producers plan to expand their workforce in 2021.

The research comes as SuperValu announced 45 new Irish food producers who have completed the Food Academy programme, supported by Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs). The products will be on sale in selected SuperValu stores from today. The study shows that increased consumer demand for Irish products (41%) is the number one driver of growth, followed by increased exposure and opportunities through Food Academy (27%). At the same time, economic uncertainty and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are the most significant causes for concern for producers.

Now in its eighth year, Food Academy is a unique food business development programme between SuperValu, Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices. Participants in the programme receive training in food safety, market research and branding, marketing, finance, sustainability, and business development.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, T.D. said: “The combination of Brexit and Covid has truly tested Irish food producers, our supermarkets and their supply chains. The industry has remained remarkably strong and resilient, throughout what has been a really challenging period, adapting and responding as things have changed. Ireland’s food and drink producers are known around the world for the quality of their produce. The Food Academy programme is a fantastic example for those with smaller operations to sell to a wider audience. Nearly 300 have gone through the programme so far, supported by the Local Enterprise Offices, Bord Bia and SuperValu. Congratulations to the 45 new producers that will be selling their products in SuperValu from today. It’s a brilliant achievement and a great opportunity for all involved.”

Ciara McClafferty, Trading Director, SuperValu, said: “We believe in local business and are proud to continue to support local producers across the country. In collaboration with Bord Bia and Local Enterprise Offices, the Food Academy allows us to help new businesses grow and get the support they need. The survey shows that 98% of participants found the programme beneficial. The exposure to new customers, increased brand awareness, mentorship, and how the programme supports producers to grow sustainably, are invaluable elements highlighted by the producers. The programme allows us to use our experience to help small businesses through their journey. From the start up to getting their products on our shelves 52 weeks of the year.”

The research also shows that survey respondents believe the SuperValu Food Academy delivers value for their business, from the increased brand exposure, access to new customers, mentoring and sustainable growth opportunities.

The survey respondents also stated that the top two reasons they believe consumers choose to buy Irish, is to support local producers and the quality of locally sourced food and drink products.

Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia said: “The partnership approach of the Food Academy programme has created a real opportunity to cultivate sustainable small food and drink businesses by supporting them through the initial challenging phases of growth. The producers receive a combination of commercial and marketing insight from Bord Bia as well as expert advice in branding, market research and business development, which arms them with the tools to strengthen their chances of success. These innovative and dynamic food businesses play an integral role in Ireland’s agri-food sector both locally and nationally, so it’s really encouraging to see a new wave of start-ups and entrepreneurs optimistic about the future.”

 The 31 Local Enterprise Offices deliver Food Academy training across the country and Oisín Geoghegan of the Local Enterprise Offices, said: “As the new research shows, Food Academy producers are optimistic about the industry’s future with the majority forecasting sales growth and new jobs this year, which is an encouraging sign.  And for small businesses in the sector, Local Enterprise Offices can help them start-up through the Digital School of Food and the Food Starter programme, get them ‘market-ready’ through the Food Academy programme and help them to grow even further through mentoring and financial supports.”

 The Food Academy programme currently supports 290 Irish food and drink producers, including 140 female entrepreneurs, generating €170m in sales. In 2020, there was a 15% growth in SuperValu Food Academy sales, with participants earning €28m. The Food Academy programme supports 1,500 jobs in local communities nationwide.

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Musgrave MarketPlace reaches milestone of €1 million worth of food redistributed to Irish charities through FoodCloud partnership

Musgrave MarketPlace, Ireland’s leading wholesale supplier to foodservice, retail, and SME businesses, is delighted to announce it has donated over 795,000 meals to charities in Ireland through its partnership with FoodCloud. Musgrave MarketPlace has been partnered with FoodCloud since 2016 and over that period has donated a massive 334 tonnes of food, with an estimated value of €1 million worth of food redistributed.

FoodCloud is a social enterprise that connects businesses with surplus food to charities in their local communities via their tech and warehouse solutions, allowing them to donate food easily and directly to charities that need it. Since the partnership’s commencement in 2016, 410 charities have received donations from Musgrave MarketPlace.

Through its food donations that may otherwise have been diverted to landfill, Musgrave MarketPlace has prevented over 1,000,000 kilos of CO2-equivalent emissions from entering the earth’s atmosphere and damaging the environment. As food waste is a huge contributor to climate change, its partnership with FoodCloud is a key focus for the business. Musgrave MarketPlace is committed to doing everything possible to build a more sustainable future, including increasing the number of small, local suppliers that products are sourced from, investing in new eco-friendly refrigeration systems and reducing its carbon footprint by maximising route efficiencies. The FoodCloud partnership is an important strand of the companies overall Sustainability Strategy.

Musgrave MarketPlace donates surplus food from their seven branches nationwide directly to Irish charities through the FoodCloud app. One of the seven branches, Musgrave MarketPlace Waterford has supported local charity, U-Casadh, through the donation of 658 meals to date, used for breakfast clubs, provision of hot meals to young people and the delivery of food parcels throughout Covid-19 lockdown periods.

A spokesperson for U-Casadh said: “Thanks to FoodCloud and their partnership with Musgrave MarketPlace, we have been able to provide young people from socially challenged communities with a free breakfast club before school and a hot meal after school.”

“By using FoodCloud, we have saved money that we would normally have spent on food and have been able to spend this on additional support and resources for the young people we work with and by delivering food parcels during the Covid-19 lockdown, we are able to keep in contact with the young people we work with at their homes
.”

Commenting on the announcement, Michael McCormack, Managing Director at Musgrave MarketPlace said: “We are delighted to announce we have reached a milestone donation of over 795,000 meals through our partnership with FoodCloud, with an estimated value of over €1 million. Whilst these unprecedented times remain difficult for us all, the charity sector has been hit particularly hard with the loss of many avenues for fundraising. Through this partnership, we have helped provide quality, fresh produce to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. Rediverting our food surplus to FoodCloud has also reduced our C02-eq to landfill by 1 million kilos in line with our sustainability commitments. We look forward to continuing our partnership with FoodCloud.”

Aoibheann O’Brien, Partnerships Director at FoodCloud added: “Musgrave MarketPlace has been a key contributor to FoodCloud since they began donating surplus food in 2016. To reach more than 795,000 meals redistributed since then is an incredible milestone and a true testament to the effort put in and the work carried out by the dedicated staff at Musgrave MarketPlace. Musgrave MarketPlace is an excellent example of an organisation that has expanded its operation with us over the years, rolling out FoodCloud to its branches outside Dublin. We look forward to working in partnership with Musgrave MarketPlace for many years to come.”

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SuperValu & AsIAm launch “Say yes to autism acceptance” campaign

AsIAm asking public to donate on asiam.ie/donate as queries to its service increase by 280% on the same period prior to the pandemic and share #AutismMonthSayYes on social media channels

Too often autistic people face invisible barriers because of how the world works and the judgement and attitudes of others. They are so used to being told ‘No’. And so, to mark Autism Awareness Month in April SuperValu & AsIAm have teamed up to launch “Say Yes to Autism Acceptance”. The aim of the campaign is to encourage people to say ‘Yes’ for a change: Yes to employment, Yes to education and Yes to community inclusion. The campaign will include a “Say Yes to Autism Acceptance” guide with 10 ways to say yes to Autism Acceptance, which will be available in SuperValu stores throughout World Autism Month in April.

As part of the campaign, AsIAm is asking the public to donate on asiam.ie/donate as queries to its service increase by 280% on the same period prior to the pandemic, and share #AutismMonthSayYes on social channels.

At least 1 in 65 people in Ireland are autistic and nearly 300,000 people have an immediate family member on the autism spectrum. Autistic people are as diverse as the society we live in and are already making contributions to communities across Ireland. World Autism Month is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the autism community and create more inclusive communities by expanding knowledge, understanding and acceptance. AsIAm and SuperValu are on a journey to build more inclusive communities across Ireland.

Commenting on the campaign CEO of AsIAm Adam Harris said, World Autism Month is an important milestone each year, aiming to create awareness and understanding so we can have a more inclusive society.  It is particularly important this year as we see the enormous impact COVID-19 is having on autistic people. Many autistic people and their families are experiencing major challenges having not been prioritised or meaningfully supported through COVID-19. The loss of routine and structure and the closure of essential services has had a long-term impact. Our community will need significant support to come through this period.

“As we look to the future and as we emerge from this awful pandemic we do not want to go back to the “old normal”, rather we want a brighter, more inclusive society which is fair to autistic people. Many people in our community are used to being told no from a very young age – no you can’t make friends, no we can’t provide you with the support you need and no, you can’t get a job. Since COIVD-19, we have all looked at how we can do things differently, and we should look at how people with autism are treated. We have an amazing opportunity to create a society which is not merely aware of autism but rather truly accepts autistic people – valuing our contribution, meeting our needs and working together.

“We are proud to be working with SuperValu this World Autism Day to ask people around Ireland to say yes to their 78,000 friends, family members and colleagues who are autistic and yes to their 300,000 mums, dads, husbands, wives and siblings. We can all achieve this by committing to small changes to make our communities more inclusive, by sharing our commitment online with #AutismMonthSayYes and critically, you can donate to AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity, to help us support the autism community through COVID-19 and beyond.”

SuperValu is dedicated to making communities around Ireland more inclusive and is leading the way in autism-friendly shopping by continuously raising understanding and awareness of autism among its communities, customers and staff. Ian Allen, Managing Director, SuperValu said “Our partnership with AsIAm is hugely important and we are so proud to be able to build on the impactful work done with AsIAm in stores and communities around Ireland. To continue our mission to make Ireland more inclusive the “Say Yes to Autism Acceptance” Guide will be available in all stores throughout April. The guide aims to help to create awareness and understanding and provide practical guidance so our communities can better support autistic people and their families. We encourage people to pick up a guide in store, support AsIAm services by donating and join us in creating a more inclusive society.”

10 ways you can help to say Yes to Autism Acceptance:

  1. Being clear
  2. Being patient
  3. Reaching out
  4. Being aware of the sensory environment
  5. Fill in the gaps
  6. Being accepting
  7. Watch your language
  8. Challenge stigma and bullying
  9. Listening and learning
  10. Seeing our abilities
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SuperValu calls on shoppers to think Irish when gifting this month as it’s successful ‘Monday Market Place’ returns to Support Local Businesses

SuperValu is bringing back its ‘Monday Market Place’ to support local businesses and encourage shoppers to think before they click and buy Irish. Now more than ever it is important to show our support because when we buy Irish five times more money stays in the local economy.

March celebrates wonderful gifting occasions including International Women’s Day (March 8th), Mother’s Day (March 14th) and St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) each date crucial for small businesses to promote and sell their locally produced ranges.

With followers of over 120,000, SuperValu’s Instagram channel is offering 10 businesses per week the chance to be showcased each Monday during March. The campaign ran during the run up to Christmas 2020 with huge success for businesses affected by the pandemic as it offers a national platform to help drive interest and sales during key gifting occasions.

As SuperValu is rooted in community and proudly supports over 1,800 local food producers and suppliers, opening its social media platforms to help other businesses in towns nationwide is natural. And, in partnership with ‘Guaranteed Irish Month’SuperValu is actively encouraging consumers to buy Irish gifts at www.GuaranteedIrishGifts.ie which showcases hundreds of the very best locally produced products from every corner of the country.

During the pandemic, trends in buying patterns show that Irish consumers have become more interested in the provenance of their purchases, notably their food choices and are actively looking for an Irish option. Working closely with 290 small local producers on shelves 52 weeks of the year through its SuperValu Food Academy, shoppers are assured of the quality and value of their  Irish produce along with a real commitment to supporting sustainable businesses and communities across Ireland. As SuperValu continues to trade as an essential business, it is playing its part to encourage shoppers to buy from other Irish retailers and help them on the road to recovery.

Commenting on the campaign, Tara Clifford, Strategy Marketing Manager SuperValu, said “Supporting Irish and buying local is in our DNA and over the coming months  we will continue to drive the message to shop local. With International Women’s Day next week, we are particularly proud of the 140 outstanding female entrepreneurs taking part in our SuperValu Food Academy. It is with producers like these that make our communities stronger by working together.”

Brid O’Connell, CEO of Guaranteed Irish, added; “Our partnership with SuperValu promotes our 1,500 members. This support directly benefits those businesses who continue to struggle during this pandemic. By shopping at www.GuaranteedIrishGifts.ieevery euro spent means 5 times more money stays in the local economy and supports local jobs.”

For more information on how you can support your local community go to www.supervalu.ie, SuperValu Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and www.GuaranteedIrishGifts.ie for great locally produced gifts.

Photo: Mari Donelan from Dan & Monstro, based in Dublin, which creates delicious nutritious sauces especially made for kids.

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