Let’s Sow Now: Nationwide initiative to raise funds for the Ukraine Humanitarian Crises

After starting as a small sunflower seed fundraiser for Ukraine from a kitchen table in Tullow, Co. Carlow, the  Sow Now initiative has now gone national. The Sow Now Sunflower Seed initiative was created by a Ukrainian woman  Tetiana Pankiv and her host Jacqui McNabb with the aim to raise €300,000 for the Irish Red Cross Ukrainian Crisis Appeal while also offering Irish people the opportunity to visually show their solidarity by planting sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine, across the country this summer. 

From Friday, April 29th, customers of SuperValu and Centra and other independent retailers will be able to directly support the work of the Irish Red Cross by buying a packet of sunflower seeds in store. All proceeds from the sale of the Sow Now sunflower seeds will go to the Irish Red Cross Crisis Ukrainian appeal. 

This amazing initiative all started when Tetiana Pankiv (39) and her three daughters Sofia (16), Marta (15) and Yana (5) fled their beloved home Lviv in Western Ukraine. Arriving in Ireland, she was extremely grateful to have gotten her children to safety and for the immense support she received from the Tullow Friends of Ukraine. However, Tetiana like so many other Ukrainian refugees suffered a huge sense of guilt and helplessness having left those she loved behind in a war-torn country, describing it as “hell on earth”. Tetiana desperately wanted her family to know she had not forgotten them, and she would do whatever she could to help them. 

Tetiana’s host Jacqui Mc Nabb was so inspired by her strength and determination to do more for those who remain in Ukraine that she helped her to set up the Sow Now Sunflower seed initiative. Tetiana and Jacqui’s intention is to have sunflowers bloom in every village, every home, and every business across the country as a powerful symbol of Ireland’s support for the Ukrainian people. 

With incredible support from many entrepreneurs and volunteers, Tetiana and other Ukrainian women have sourced and packed 100,000 packets of sunflower seeds. The sunflower seeds will go on sale from Friday, April 29th at €5 per packet and will be available in SuperValu and Centra stores as well as independent retailers across the country. By placing an order for thousands of sunflower seeds to be distributed across 600 stores nationwide, SuperValu and Centra helped to make this small campaign go national. 

By donating and then sowing the Sow Now sunflower seeds Irish people will be part of a #sownow movement that will create a big impact by through many individual acts. The sunflowers will be a small reminder of home for the Ukrainian people as well as friendship and support to the many women and children who find themselves in Ireland seeking refuge.  

Charlie Lamson, Head of Fundraising with the Irish Red Cross said; “This is an incredible initiative in support of the Irish Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal – and is another example of the profound empathy and support that people throughout Ireland have shown for the millions of Ukrainians whose lives have been so profoundly impacted by the ongoing conflict.  The Irish Red Cross is proud to be a part of the International Red Cross Movement to be in a position to provide aid in Ukraine, the surrounding countries and here in Ireland.” 

Ian Allen, Managing Director of SuperValu and Centra said: “Our colleagues, retail partners and customers at SuperValu and Centra have been devastated by the war in Ukraine and we want to help in any way we can. In recent weeks, Musgrave Group, together with its retail partners, colleagues, and shoppers, has donated over €1 million worth of funds and goods to support the Ukrainian people. The new campaign will further add to that, and we are encouraging all of our customers in SuperValu and Centra to buy sunflower seeds. We aim to see sunflowers popping up all around Ireland this summer as a symbol of our support for Ukraine. We have been so inspired by Tetiana and her family, and our thoughts are with them and all of the Ukrainian people. We hope for a peaceful end to this war soon.” 

Shoppers will be able to pick up a packet of sunflower seeds in their local SuperValu or Centra and some independent outlets from Friday, April 29th with all proceeds going directly to the Irish Red Cross Ukrainian Crisis Appeal. When planting their seeds, people are encouraged to share their images on social media with the hashtag #SowNowforUkraine. 

Follow Sow Now:  

Facebook: Sow Now 

Instagram: @sownowireland 


For more information please contact: Nicole at The Publicity Loft – nicole@publicityloft.com/0877571993 

Centra launches a new campaign celebrating choice called ‘choices define us’

Today, Wednesday 27th April, Centra, Ireland’s leading convenience retail group is launching a new campaign that celebrates Choices called ‘Choices Define Us’. Centra is at the heart of communities all throughout Ireland with 481 locally owned and operated stores nationwide and is committed to offering choice that meets the evolving needs of shoppers today and into the future.

Speaking about the launch of the new Centra campaign, Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, Centra said “This is a defining time in our lives where people are making more considered choices than ever. At Centra we take great care to understand what choices people are making and the impact that those choices will have on how people live, work, and eat so we can continue to adapt and evolve our retail offers and experiences to meet the needs of communities across Ireland.”

To mark the launch of this campaign, Centra commissioned an in-depth study to provide a deeper understanding of the choices people are making in Ireland in this period of revaluation, forced by the pandemic which revealed that 1 in 2 Irish people (46%) feel their daily choices have the power to impact positively on society. Through this campaign Centra is encouraging consumers to think about choice, and to choose wisely every day.

Speaking about this research, Professor Maureen Gaffney, leading psychologist, and author said “This research shows that people are pondering on the value of what they are doing: Am I making the right choices about how I live and how I work? It is important to better understand the nature and importance of choice”

Professor Gaffney continued “Although people value choice, they are aware that too much choice makes the process of decision making too difficult. The finding that making a good choice is made more difficult in certain conditions is consistent with psychological research findings that the act of making a choice, even a choice we like making, is cognitively taxing and uses up resources that we need for other kinds of thinking.”

The research also revealed that over half of people in Ireland reported that they worry that having made a choice, whether it is the right choice.

In contrast, older adults, although they like to have more choice options than younger adults do, they are more assured about their decisions – most likely because they are more settled in their choices and buying patterns, and at a deeper level, are less inclined to fuss about what they see as less important in the great scheme of things. But they also are more inclined to believe that society is more positively shaped by government initiatives rather than their own choices.

When asked to look at areas where people are currently making positive choices and indeed feel that others in the community should be encouraged to do so as well, shopping locally (95%) is something chosen by the vast majority of people.

Ray Kelly continued “There is a clear recognition from this research that the local shop serves as a hub for the community. We feel great pride and responsibility knowing that so many people choose to walk through our doors every day and we know that with the future of hybrid work that Centra will play an even greater role in many people’s lives as they choose to opt for more local amenities closer to home. We are committed to giving our customers the best choice every day.”

Other key findings from the report:

  • SOCIETY: While 1 in 2 Irish people (46%) feel their daily choices have the power to impact positively on society, 1 in 3 (33%) feel that society is more positively shaped by Government initiatives and policy changes. Older adults tend towards a view of Government being more important, whereas younger adults emerge as more idealistic – believing in their personal influence.
  • SUSTAINABILITY: The research also points to an increase in awareness of the environment and sustainability and people are already making very conscious choices to minimise buying products with excessive packaging. 87% claim to be much more mindful about what they buy, to compost and reduce food waste (79%).
  • COMMUNITY: While 66% say they are contributing positively to their community just 29% say that they are contributing time to volunteer work. Interestingly, in respect of contributing time to volunteer or community work it was strongly linked to the arrival of children in many instances. Expanding family size tends to prompt parents to engage with others in the community and sports groups.
  • AFFECTS OF THE PANDEMIC: The survey provides valuable data on particularly adverse effects of the pandemic on younger people. Many are feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of setting up their life, securing a job and affordable accommodation. Difficulty accessing psychological help and support is now an issue for those in more urgent need. Those with jobs and employers are also facing difficult choices about the more long-term implications of managing remote or hybrid working arrangements.
  • WFH: Problems that preceded the pandemic are now firmly back in focus – the lack of reliable public transport, increasing rents. There is uncertainty about the future of cities and city-centre businesses if large numbers of people opt to work from home.
  • NATIONAL DISCOMFORT: The research also surfaced a national discomfort with the idea that we have to prioritise or choose one marginalised group over another. Although there are different weightings of causes or issues in society this is purely in the context of having to make a choice and most people do not want to choose between issues that matter.

The Centra Choices campaign which goes live today encompasses TV, audio, OOH, cinema, podcasts, PR and social media.

SuperValu & Centra celebrate first birthday of the Action Cancer Big Bus and issue ‘May Day’ call for help to keep the Big Bus moving

Action Cancer, Northern Ireland’s leading, local cancer charity, will celebrate the first birthday of the new Big Bus this Sunday, 1st May. To kick off the celebrations, Musgrave NI, the charity’s long-term partner will launch a week-long fundraising initiative through its SuperValu and Centra stores from Friday, 29th April.

In a ‘May Day’ call for help to keep the wheels of the Big Bus turning, SuperValu and Centra store staff will have buckets at the ready to raise funds for this life-saving service which last year delivered 875 health checks to men and women aged 16+ and 1,950 breast screenings to women aged 40-49 and over 70 years – outside of NHS screening age.

Throughout this year, Musgrave NI, through SuperValu and Centra stores, and its head office colleagues, will aim to generate £175,000 in fundraising to ensure the Big Bus can continue to visit communities across Northern Ireland and provide its free life-saving services. With Covid restrictions lifted, the Big Bus aims to travel to 200 locations and deliver 2,000 health checks and 5,000 breast screenings during 2022.

Desi Derby, Director of Marketing for SuperValu and Centra said: “We have a long-standing partnership with Action Cancer and our fantastic retailers, customers and colleagues have raised over £3.5 million to date. To be able to support the Big Bus and help keep it on the road, delivering life-saving services to communities across Northern Ireland, is something of which we are very proud. If you are shopping in one of our SuperValu or Centra stores this weekend, please consider supporting us in our fundraising efforts.”

Gareth Kirk, Chief Executive of Action Cancer added: “We are delighted to be celebrating the first birthday of our new Big Bus, which has been serving people across Northern Ireland over the last 12 months. Our breast screening service, detects approximately six cancers in every 1,000 women screened and thanks to the ongoing suport of the staff and customers of Musgrave NI, SuperValu and Centra, we will continue to make a real difference to the lives of people across N. Ireland.”

The Big Bus visits SuperValu and Centra stores throughout Northern Ireland and next week will be at SuperValu Aughnacloy on 4th May and Centra Ballinderry on 5th May, ensuring that people across the country can access Action Cancer’s vital services.

Bridie Treanor, mother of six and granny to four grandchildren, from Rosslea County Fermanagh had her breast cancer detected in May 2019 at the age of 49 when SuperValu hosted the Big Bus at their Newtownbutler store.

Bridie said: “I’m so thankful to Action Cancer’s Big Bus for saving my life. I never would have travelled all the way up to Belfast to attend a routine screening. I’m so grateful that women like me can access this vital service on their doorsteps.”

For information about upcoming Big Bus visits throughout NI and to book an appointment contact 028 9080 3344 or visit the Action Cancer website at appointments.actioncancer.org

The new Big Bus was brought to life thanks to the generous support from Principal Funder Walk the Walk, a UK breast cancer charity who provided £360,000 in funding and £50,000 each from The Garfield Weston Foundation, Ulster Garden Villages and The McClay Foundation.

SuperValu announces €35m store investment programme; creates 150 jobs

  • Retailer reveals sales of €3.237 billion in 2021; sustained growth in online shopping service following 2020 demand surge
  • SuperValu launches new food experience; significant investment to roll out innovative design and transformed, sustainable customer experience

Ireland’s leading grocery retailer, SuperValu, achieved sales of €3.237 billion in 2021 as it increased weekly customers to 2.7 million during the year. The robust sales performance was driven by larger weekly shops, the success of own brand products and the demand for online and home delivery services.

Today, SuperValu also launched its new food experience, as evidenced at its Dublin flagship store in Knocklyon, a leading exemplar of the future of retail that revolutionises the grocery shopping with a transformed food and enhanced sustainable experience.

During 2022, SuperValu will invest more than €35 million in approximately 50 stores, in addition to the €23 million deployed last year to revamp and refresh 42 outlets across its retail estate. 2022 will also see SuperValu continue to grow its nationwide presence, creating at least 150 jobs and adding to its existing 223 stores. SuperValu currently employs approximately 16,000 people.

SuperValu’s new food experience-based store allows customers to enjoy easier and simpler grocery shopping, combined with more sustainable choices. From the point of entry, customers experience the taste of local range, to plant-based alternatives, as well as a home eco-range. The state-of-the-art store provides customers with new innovative delicatessen, bakery, meal solutions and fresh food offerings alongside the Happy Pear and Donnybrook Fair ranges.

SuperValu’s store in Knocklyon, also operates on 100% green electricity and runs on LED lighting made from recycled CD’s which uses 60% less energy than standard systems.

The newly revamped store in Knocklyon is one of 44 SuperValu stores in Dublin, nine of which benefited from a €10 million investment during 2021. SuperValu has seen continued growth in Dublin, driven by investment in its store network and the success of its convenience offering, including its Freshly Prepared By and assembled meals.

Speaking about the brands 2021 performance, SuperValu Managing Director Ian Allen said: “SuperValu experienced another successful year of trading during 2021, delivering strong sales as we continued to invest in and expand our retail footprint and online offering. As we look to the year ahead, together with our valued retail partners, we plan to further cement our leadership position by continuing to offer even more great value, support local producers, investing in technology and food innovation, enhancing our reputation for quality and inspiring food and delivering the best customer experience in the market. We also look forward to rolling out our new food experience model across our retail estate for customers to enjoy.

“At the heart of what we do is delivering the best value and exceptional quality Irish products to our customers and our continued investment is evidence of this. As our shoppers are faced with increasing costs from rising inflation, value is top of mind for consumers at the moment and our focus remains on delivering the best combination of quality food, value and customer service in the market.”

A key trend in 2021 was the continued growth in SuperValu’s online shopping service, with sales representing a 10% increase on the prior year demand surge (2020: 173%) and an additional 130,000 new customers using the service. The sustained growth in online is in response to changing consumer demands, as consumers adjusted to new hybrid routines, with an increased focused on convenience.

Separately, SuperValu also invested significantly during 2021 in its Real Rewards loyalty offering, growing its total membership base to 1.2 million. As part of its continued commitment to ensuring value for its customers, SuperValu plans to introduce over 1,000 new own brand products to its existing range of 5,000 products as a direct response to consumer demand for value, high quality and healthier food.

SuperValu’s Food Academy which supports 290 Irish food and drink producers across all 52 weeks of the year recorded sales of €30 million in 2021, up 47% on the prior year. Food Academy producers have sold a combined €200 million of produce in SuperValu since 2013. The Food Academy programme is in conjunction with Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices and provides start up food and drink producers an opportunity to get their products on SuperValu shelves.

Speaking about SuperValu’s commitment to local communities, Ian Allen added: “We want to continue to play our role in supporting our customers to purchase locally sourced products and make more sustainable choices. At the same time, we are proud to give back to the communities we serve. From our sponsorship of TidyTowns and partnership with the GAA, to providing autism-friendly shopping events, we aim to do our bit to build thriving, sustainable communities for the people that support us.”

Last month, SuperValu launched its Save The Bees Campaign in partnership with the All-Ireland Pollinator plan. The initiative will see SuperValu work with schools and communities across Ireland to help educate people on the very real and current threat facing Ireland’s Bees. This follows on from SuperValu’s commitment in 2021 to increase participation among people from diverse backgrounds in GAA sports by 30% by 2025.

Musgrave donates €1 million worth of funds and goods to support the Ukrainian people

Musgrave Group, together with its retail partners, colleagues, and shoppers, has donated over €1 million worth of funds and goods to support the Ukrainian people.

Over €875,000 in funds has been donated to the Irish Red Cross and UNICEF Ireland by Musgrave and its shoppers to support those impacted by the war in Ukraine.

Shoppers across Musgrave brands including SuperValu, Centra, Donnybrook Fair, Musgrave MarketPlace, Mace NI and Daybreak donated €625,000 to the Irish Red Cross and UNICEF Ireland over recent weeks. In addition to the funds raised by shoppers, €250,000 was donated directly by Musgrave Group to the charities.

The fundraiser was launched in stores across the island of Ireland beginning from March 2nd. Shoppers in SuperValu, Centra and Donnybrook Fair were able to donate €2 in the Republic of Ireland or £2 in Northern Ireland via a simple “Tap to Donate” mechanism in store at the till. All the funds raised will go directly to the charities.

As well as raising funds, Musgrave also provided several truckloads of essential supplies for Ukrainian refugees arriving in Ireland and Poland. Individual Musgrave employees are also supporting this cause, with some providing help on the ground at the Ukrainian border and several Musgrave truck drivers driving goods to countries bordering Ukraine.

Noel Keeley, CEO Musgrave Group said: “It has been devastating to see the impact of the war in Ukraine. At Musgrave, we have Ukrainian colleagues, family members and friends, and we wanted to act quickly to help those who need it most. I would like to acknowledge all those who worked so hard to put in place such a fast response and a heartfelt thank you to our customers for their generosity. These donations are essential to help people who are suffering, but what we all want to see is a peaceful resolution to this conflict, sooner rather than later.”

Liam O’Dwyer, Secretary General of the Irish Red Cross, said; “The Irish Red Cross is grateful for this overwhelming support of our work in support of those impacted by the crisis in Ukraine. This support from the Musgrave Group will directly contribute to the ongoing work of Red Cross volunteers and staff within Ukraine as well as the neighbouring countries where over four million have fled. This support will also contribute to the work of the Irish Red Cross in Ireland to provide assistance to and shelter to Ukrainians arriving in the country. From all of us at the Irish Red Cross we thank the Musgrave Group and its patrons for their incredible generosity.”

UNICEF Ireland, Executive Director Peter Power said “The horrific war in Ukraine continues to pose an immediate and growing threat to the lives and well-being of the country’s 7.5 million children. UNICEF is doing everything possible to reach all those in need. A special thanks to shoppers at SuperValu, Centra and Mace Northern Ireland for showing such solidarity with children and families in Ukraine. Your generous support ensures UNICEF can reach more people in Ukraine with critical supplies and services. I also want to thank Noel Keeley, and the whole team at Musgrave, for making this incredible fundraiser happen, and for bringing it into so many stores across Ireland. Everyone’s efforts will make a life-saving difference to the children of Ukraine.”

Musgrave is working with charities and government to establish potential employment opportunities across our organisation for Ukrainians who have sought refuge in Ireland. As Musgrave is the largest private employer in the country, with locations in every community across Ireland, the company is well positioned to offer a variety of flexible jobs in locations across the country, as well as the essential care and support that people coming to Ireland from Ukraine will need.

Minister Heather Humphreys Launches 2022 SuperValu TidyTowns Competition

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, in association with the Managing Director of SuperValu, Mr. Ian Allen, has today (April 7th 2022) launched the 2022 SuperValu TidyTowns competition. In place since 1958, the competition continues to grow from strength to strength. It is administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development and sponsored by SuperValu.

Speaking at the launch of the competition in Ennis this morning, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, T.D., said;  It is wonderful to be here in Ennis, Ireland’s Tidiest Town, to launch the 2022 SuperValu TidyTowns competition. Seeing the competition back to its normal cycle is very welcome news and no doubt thousands of TidyTowns volunteers across the country are thrilled to see the competition back in full swingTidyTowns groups have shown great strength in recent times and have continued to put their shoulder to the wheel in keeping our towns and villages and indeed the country, looking its best, when we needed it most.”

Minister Humphreys continued:  My Department strives to support vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities throughout Ireland, and SuperValu TidyTowns is a great way to get involved in community life. I would encourage young and old to get involved in your local TidyTowns groups. You might be surprised at how much you will benefit as well as your community. The role my Department plays in this competition continues to give me great satisfaction as we support and recognise the work of local communities.  I also commend our sponsor, SuperValu, for their continuing support and enthusiasm and for all they do in raising awareness of the competition. Now in their 31st year of sponsorship, they continue through their nationwide network of retailers to make the competition one of the best known sustainable and environmental initiatives in Ireland”.

Also speaking at the launch today, Ian Allen, Managing Director of SuperValu, said: “It’s great to be launching this year’s SuperValu TidyTowns competition and even better to be doing so in person following a challenging couple of years for everyone. This year marks our 31st year sponsoring the SuperValu TidyTowns competition and in that time, we have seen it grow along the way. There is a great opportunity to continue the evolution of SuperValu TidyTowns, enabling us to engage and empower people around the country to create sustainable communities, recognising the value of our biodiversity, and coming together to play our part in response to climate change. We look forward to working with colleagues, friends and neighbours in communities around the country to make this a reality and we encourage people to contact their local SuperValu TidyTowns committee to join the efforts being made to build more sustainable communities for all.” 

Now well into its seventh decade, the competition continues to attract new entrants and continues to grow. This year again we see some new and exciting special awards with great prizes and all groups are encouraged to consider entering some of these awards. These include an award on Bat Conservation, redesigned awards on climate action and air quality and the continuation of the Young Persons in TidyTowns award.

The closing date for receipt of entries for this year’s competition is Friday 20th May 2022. Entry will only be accepted by email to the tidytowns@drcd.gov.ie address. Entry forms to the SuperValu TidyTowns competition will be emailed to all registered groups or can be obtained from the TidyTowns Unit in the Department of Rural and Community Development (Phone: 01 773 6912) or by visiting www.tidytowns.ie or www.supervalu.ie.

Full details of the competition are available on www.tidytowns.ie

Photo caption: Attending the SuperValu TidyTowns launch in Ennis were Heather Humphreys, Minister for Rural and Community Development and Ian Allen, Managing Director of SuperValu (second from right), with members of Ennis TidyTowns Teresa McGrath, Damian O’Donoghue, Brothers of Charity Ennis, and Cormac McCarthy and Neasa McCarthy (10).

SuperValu’s ‘Tap to Donate’ Fundraiser Back for World Autism Month To Raise Funds for AsIAm

Following the success of last year’s ‘Tap to Donate’ fundraising campaign, SuperValu is encouraging the nation once again to get behind the initiative for AsIAm during World Autism Month. Running for four days, the SuperValu ‘Tap to Donate’ fundraising drive takes place in SuperValu stores nationwide from 7 – 10 April, and customers can simply tap to donate €2 at the till when making any purchase to help raise much needed funds for AsIAm. Money raised by customers during the four-day fundraiser will support the AsIAm Community Support Team.

In 2021 over €50,000 was raised during the SuperValu fundraising campaign and all money went directly to the AsIAm Community Support Team. This dedicated team provides a range of direct supports to autistic people and their families including the AsIAm Autism Information Line, the AsIAm Advice Clinics Programme and the AsIAm Seminar Series which is directly sponsored by SuperValu. Since November alone, the Community Support Team have already supported over 800 families.

AsIAm is Ireland’s national autism charity, and this year’s World Autism Month theme for the not-for-profit is ‘Same Chance’, which aims to highlight the barriers autistic people still regularly identify and endure across the areas of social, education and professionalism in society today. SuperValu customers can help support the great work of AsIAm when they’re shopping in store between the 7th-10th April by simply tapping their cards, phones and wearables to donate €2 at the till and help make a difference.

Speaking about SuperValu’s ‘Tap To Donate’ fundraising campaign for World Autism Month Month, CEO of AsIAm, Adam Harris said, “World Autism Month is a great opportunity for people of all ages to learn about autism as well as the daily barriers autistic people face. This year AsIAm is encouraging people across Ireland to give autistic people the ‘Same Chance’. Last year’s ‘Tap To Donate’ SuperValu fundraiser was a great success and we are asking the nation to dig deep once again during Autism Month and ‘Tap To Donate’ from 7 – 10 April in SuperValu stores nationwide. Every €2 generously donated will go towards supporting our advice, guidance and support programmes for the autism community and will also enable us to grow the work our Community Support Team do across local communities. SuperValu continues to support the autism community in Ireland and help create more inclusive communities across a range of initiatives including learning resources, awareness campaigns, community support seminars and autism friendly shopping in-stores, and we are proud of this partnership.”

Ian Allen, Managing Director, SuperValu said “We are proud to continue our six-year partnership with AsIAm as they continue with their impactful work in stores and communities around Ireland. The ‘Tap To Donate’ fundraiser is an important event to not only raise much-needed funds, but to raise awareness about the barriers that autistic people face in local communities. We would like to encourage customers to support the campaign this April and tap to donate €2 at the till when making a purchase. Your support and generous contribution will go directly to AsIAm to support their great work around Ireland and will help empower autistic people and relieve the pressures faced by many people and families around Ireland. Every single euro raised will enable us to deliver better support through AsIAm.”

For more information visit asiam.ie or supervalu.ie

SuperValu and Centra NI raise £190k for Action Cancer

SuperValu and Centra retailers across Northern Ireland have raised a phenomenal £190,000 for their long-standing charity partner, Action Cancer, during what was another challenging year.

While the pandemic continued throughout 2021, the brands built on their fundraising successes from 2020 and created new opportunities to ensure Action Cancer and the life-saving services it offers, would be supported.

Desi Derby, Marketing Director for SuperValu and Centra NI, commented on the fundraising achievement:

“While we all hoped the pandemic would be behind us in 2021, it continued to present challenges, however we came up with new and innovative ways to enable our retailers to raise money and continue to support Action Cancer, which is a charity close to their hearts.

“To achieve this significant amount truly demonstrates the unrivalled commitment from our retailers and colleagues for this charity, and of course the invaluable support of our shoppers who have donated so generously throughout the year.”

The initiatives included a May Day fundraising drive and call for support to keep Action Cancer’s Big Bus moving. This was followed by a challenge for colleagues from Musgrave-owned SuperValu and Centra stores to walk a total distance of 18,000km, which was exceeded by 10,000km and raised an incredible £25,000.

An International Coffee Day initiative saw the retailers pledge 50p from the sale of each Frank and Honest coffee purchased over three days to the charity. It was a resounding success, raising over £18,000 and was closely followed by, for the second year running, a Halloween project in partnership with local Armagh supplier Gilfresh, which saw the brands donate 50p from each pumpkin sale.

Centra was delighted to welcome back Run Together in Ormeau Park in October, which saw 1,000 people participate and raised close to £18,000 while SuperValu sponsored Action Cancer’s Breast Foot Forward which once again returned to Belfast City Hall in the same month.

Meanwhile stores across the country took part in many activities of their own including sponsored head shaves, abseils and raffles.

Gareth Kirk, CEO of Action Cancer, added:

“The support of SuperValu and Centra for Action Cancer is remarkable, without which we could not in 2021 have continued to provide our vital prevention and life-saving services onboard our new mobile clinic the BIG BUS. The financial support and commitment received from SuperValu and Centre, in what was undoubtedly a very challenging year for everyone, not only ensured the wheels of the Big Bus kept rolling across Northern Ireland but that nearly 3,000 local people could avail of a critical health check or a mammogram for the detection of breast cancer.

“Our heartfelt thanks go to the retailers and staff for their enthusiasm, energy and commitment, and to SuperValu and Centra NI customers, who altogether make a crucial contribution to the lives of so many.”

Centra to partner with Irish Cancer Society for Daffodil Day 2022

The Irish Cancer Society today announced Centra are proudly supporting Daffodil Day 2022. The Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day takes place each March and raises a large portion of the funds required for the Society to provide its services and invest in research.

Centra employees and customers will be marking the partnership in participating stores across the country from Thursday 24th to Sunday the 27th of March to coincide with Daffodil Day which takes place on Friday, March 25th.

Customers will be able to add a €1 donation to their receipt at the till, there will also be bucket collections and additional fundraisers taking place in stores. These much-needed funds will go directly to supporting cancer patients by providing crucial services such as the Irish Cancer Society Freephone Support Line, the Volunteer Driver Service, the Night Nursing Service, and the free Counselling Service in addition to the development of life-saving cancer research.

Centra has proudly supported the Irish Cancer Society’s annual breast cancer campaign for the past twelve years. In October 2021, Centra employees and staff raised over €150,000 for the ‘Care for Your Pair’ breast cancer awareness campaign.

Speaking at the announcement, Averil Power, CEO, Irish Cancer Society, said,We are delighted to be partnering with Centra for our Daffodil Day 2022 campaign. Over the past twelve years, Centra has been a key partner for our breast cancer campaign, we are delighted to now extend this partnership to our flagship fundraiser, Daffodil Day. We are always amazed to witness the support and enthusiasm that is shown for cancer awareness in Centra stores across the country.

The funds raised during Daffodil Day in Centra stores will play a vital role in providing free support services and care to people affected by cancer while also helping to develop ground-breaking cancer research. I would encourage everyone to visit their local Centra stores from the 24th to the 27th of March to show their support to those impacted by cancer in their community.

Speaking about the partnership, Ian Allen Managing Director Centra said, “We are delighted to partner with the Irish Cancer Society in support of Daffodil Day 2022. Community matters to Centra and our 480 stores around the country are committed to doing what they can to ensure that Irish Cancer Research Society raise the funds they need. Our retail partners, colleagues and customers nationwide are acutely aware of the importance of the research, awareness and support that Irish Cancer Research Society brings to every community in Ireland. We look forward to a successful Daffodil Day and call on our communities to tap and donate between March 24th-27th.

For further information about the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day campaign, visit www.cancer.ie/daffodilday

SuperValu call on upcoming food and drink producers to apply for a place on the Food Academy Programme

  • Food Academy supports 1,500 local jobs nationwide, 52 weeks of the year
  • Food Academy producers have sold a combined €200 million of products in SuperValu since 2013
  • Open for applications for new producers

SuperValu, Ireland’s leading retailer, is calling on new and budding local Irish food and drink producers to join this year’s Food Academy Programme. This is a huge opportunity for those who have a fantastic idea for a food or beverage product but need support from experts in the industry to launch their business.

Food Academy, which is run by SuperValu in conjunction with Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices, gives start up food and drink producers an opportunity to get their products on SuperValu shelves. The programme, which has been an established part of the Irish food industry for nine years now, supports 1,500 jobs nationwide.

Currently the Food Academy Programme supports 290 Irish food and drink producers. Their products are available 52 weeks of the year in their local SuperValu stores. Food Academy producers have sold a combined €200 million of produce in SuperValu since 2013.

In 2021, there was a 6 per cent growth in Food Academy sales, with participants delivering €30 million in retail sales.

Ian Allen, Managing Director, SuperValu said: “Food Academy, run by SuperValu in collaboration with Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices, helps new businesses to grow and get the support they need. With Food Academy, producers are on shelves 52 weeks of the year. By having this guarantee of shelf space, food producers can generate regular income and ensure their businesses thrive. We have so many examples of former Food Academy producers that have gone on to fantastic success, including The Happy Pear, Pizza Sorrento and SynerChi Kombucha. If you have a great idea for a food or beverage business, then this is your opportunity to sign up for Food Academy and make your dream a reality.  At SuperValu, we are committed to supporting local Irish producers and we are ready and waiting to nurture new talent this year.”

Food and drinks producers, who are in the early stages of developing their business and would like to see their products on shelves in SuperValu are strongly encouraged to apply for the programme. The deadline for application for this year’s cycle is Friday, April 8th 2022, with the programme commencing in September 2022. Those interested in applying can contact their Local Enterprise Office and request an application form. Participants in Food Academy receive training in food safety, market research and branding, marketing, finance, sustainability, and business development.

Padraic McElwee, chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices added: “At the Local Enterprise Offices, the Food Academy Programme is a vital part of our supports to drive entrepreneurship in the food sector. It is the final element of our food pathway that brings entrepreneurs from idea right through to shelf, from the Digital School of Food, on to Food Starter and finally Food Academy.  We have a fantastic history of food entrepreneurs and businesses in Ireland and we must continue to support this sector so if you are a new entrepreneur in the food or drinks sector we would urge you to get involved.” 

Gillian Willis, Small Business Development Manager, Bord Bia said: “At Bord Bia, we focus on promoting Irish food, drink and horticulture that is produced to the highest quality standards. Food Academy provides invaluable support to participants to get their small businesses off the ground, and to reach consumers nationwide on SuperValu shelves.  This commitment as well as the support provided by Food Academy gives food producers a huge advantage when starting out. We in Bord Bia will continue to provide comprehensive market knowledge, consumer insight and branding expertise to Food Academy participants nationwide.”

As part of its continued support for its Food Academy producers, five local food producers have been chosen from the 290 suppliers to be showcased in SuperValu stores nationwide over a three-week period. Since March 3rd, the products from the five chosen producers have been on sale in 150 SuperValu stores across Ireland.

The five companies chosen for nationwide distribution are King of Kefir, Co Dublin; The Wild Wok, Co Dublin; Jaru, Co Dublin; Dan & Monstro, Co Dublin; and Kilbeggan Farm, Co Westmeath. The products selected demonstrate the quality and range of choice that the food entrepreneurs of today are creating and delivering to shoppers across the country.

Commenting on the launch of the five Guest Stars products going nationwide, Carmel Biggane, Food Academy Manager, SuperValu, said: “We believe in supporting local businesses and we are incredibly proud to have helped so many local producers over the last nine years. In the Food Academy programme, we aim to offer as much support as possible to our producers. This is evident in the nationwide launch of our five Guest Stars. All of them have created unique and great tasting products and this three-week period of nationwide sales will be a big boost to their growing businesses. The Food Academy programme supports the best of local sustainable food and drink products throughout Ireland. We are really looking forward to seeing some great new products from this year’s Food Academy applicants.”

For more information on Food Academy, please visit: https://supervalu.ie/real-people/food-academy-programme.

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