SuperValu & AsIAm Launch “Bridge Back to School” – An Autism-Friendly Learning Resource for Summer 2020

Bridge Back to School Resource Available in SuperValu Stores Nationwide from July 6

SuperValu & AsIAm are delighted to announce the launch of a learning resource toolkit, developed with Mary Immaculate College. Covid-19 has posed challenges for every household in Ireland and for many autistic people, the loss of structure and routine has been particularly tough. While many have been struggling there are also many who find the lack of pressure to go to school, social events and everyday activities a relief. However, as people return to education re-establishing routines in settings that may have changed substantially will be a challenge. The Bridge Back to School learning resource has been developed to help those with high support needs prepare during the summer months to return to school in September.

20,000 of the resource booklets will be distributed to SuperValu stores nationwide and be available to pick up from Monday, July 6 in every store at identifiable points. The resource can also be accessed online from the SuperValu website. AsIAm worked in collaboration with Professor Emer Ring of Mary Immaculate College who has extensive experience in education including working with the Department of Education and Skills, as a primary mainstream class teacher and as learning & support resource, teacher to develop the resource. At the launch Professor Ring said, “Every person around the country has experienced some obstruction to their routine due to the pandemic, however many do not consider how the changes that may seem minor to some, can pose serious stress to others in their community. Whilst we welcome the reopening of businesses and society, we must be mindful that this is not a simple transition for many people. This resource we have developed with SuperValu & AsIAm offers essential guidance for those with high support needs that will find the transition back to school a particular challenge.”

CEO of AsIAm Adam Harris said, “Not only have the changes in routine and lack of support been a challenge for autistic students but re-establishing routine will be just as challenging. The summer months present an important opportunity for Summer Provision facilitators and family members to help prepare children for the transition back to education in September, but materials and guidance are needed to do so. The Bridge Back to School resource we’re launching today will support a young person to understand, prepare and manage the return to school.”

In developing the resources some of the most challenging elements of the current ever-changing circumstances which autistic students might find difficult to navigate were identified. The “Bridge Back to School” – An Autism-Friendly Learning Resource for Summer 2020 offers support and guidance in these areas as we move through the phases of reopening Ireland and will focus on:

  1. Sensory integration
  2. Preparing for the new year
  3. Dealing with worry and anxiety
  4. Explaining the “new normal”
  5. Social skills
  6. Self-regulation
  7. Use of visuals
  8. Clear communication

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 customers and staff. Martin Kelleher Managing Director, SuperValu said “We are proud of the work we are doing to raise awareness of autism in all SuperValu communities around the country. SuperValu and AsIAm are committed to the journey of making our communities more autism friendly and inclusive of all members. We are delighted to partner with Mary Immaculate College and AsIAm to develop this resource from the experienced knowledge of a pool of experts. SuperValu recognises the challenges for families as they prepare for the return to school and hope that this useful and practical learning resource will be an essential support for them over the coming months. The resource will be available for all to pick up in their local SuperValu from Monday, July 6.”

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Guaranteed Irish announces new partnership with leading convenience retail group Centra

Ireland’s leading convenience retailer backs Irish based businesses in campaign to support local this summer.

Guaranteed Irish, the business membership network championing indigenous and multinational businesses operating in Ireland, has today announced a new partnership with Ireland’s leading convenience retail group Centra. The partnership comes as the nation prepares for a different kind of summer this year with BBQs, picnics and fresh food-to-go high on the agenda of Irish consumers this season.

Centra supports over 11,000 jobs at 473 locations throughout Ireland, with an annual Irish turnover of €1.7bn. With over 75% of the produce stocked on the shelves of Centra sourced in Ireland, the new official partnership will allow Guaranteed Irish to further nurture and grow its network of indigenous Irish businesses, as well as reach a new audience of health-conscious consumers, further building brand awareness amongst Irish shoppers of the importance of supporting local.

The leading Irish convenience retailer serves over 3 million customers every week, with convenience shoppers boasting the benefits of quality fresh food and excellent services combined with exceptional value for money and a state-of-the-art retail experience.

Guaranteed Irish businesses make a significant contribution to the Irish economy every year, both in terms of turnover and employment, as well as contributing to their local communities. With the addition of 473 independently owned Centra stores, Guaranteed Irish now has almost 1,200 business members, employing 86,000+ people across Ireland, generating an annual combined Irish turnover of €12.9bn.

Part of the Musgrave Group, one of Ireland’s largest grocery and food distributors, Centra invests more than €240 million in local communities throughout Ireland annually, which is the equivalent of €4.5 million per week through a combination of payments to local suppliers, acquisition of local business services, wages, charitable donations and local sponsorships including a long standing sponsorship of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship.

Centra plans to invest close to €300,000 to promote its official retail partnership with Guaranteed Irish to highlight and raise awareness of the benefits of purchasing Guaranteed Irish brands. This will be invested in a range of marketing activations, beginning on June 10, 2020 to include:

  • Digital activation, including a website landing page, social media takeover and the promotion of Irish products across digital
  • Centra compostable bags to display the Guaranteed Irish symbol
  • Centra customer handbills to include the Guaranteed Irish symbol circulated to near 5million Irish homes over the course of any year

Brid O’Connell, CEO of Guaranteed Irish said, “I’m delighted to welcome Centra on board. As Ireland’s leading convenience retailer, Centra embraces our core values of building sustainable communities through enterprise, backing local jobs, and supporting homegrown Irish produce. These values are showcased through the retailer’s commitment to food producers based in Ireland, in turn benefiting our local economy and supporting Irish jobs particularly in rural communities throughout the country. The partnership with Centra will see the Guaranteed Irish symbol reach a new audience of consumers in Ireland, further building brand awareness amongst shoppers of the benefits of supporting local.”

Commenting on the partnership, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director at Centra said, “As Ireland’s leading convenience retailer, with stores serving towns and villages across the country, Centra is delighted to partner with Guaranteed Irish. It has never been more important to support local and Irish, and when you shop with Centra, you can rest assured that you are providing a vital boost to the local economy. Summer is a crucial time for Irish businesses, with people looking for the best quality, local food when they celebrate the good weather over the coming months. We are playing our part to make sure that Irish produce is front and centre at our stores, with highlights including our “Inspired By” Centra Irish meats, which are 100% Irish and Bord Bia-approved such as delicious Sirloin and Striploin Steaks, Angus Burgers, Sausages and Rotisserie Chicken.”

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SuperValu to sell €2.5m of new potatoes as 2020 potato sales set to hit €37m

SuperValu, Ireland’s leading food retailer, forecasts that it will sell €2.5m worth of new Irish potatoes this year, as overall potato sales across its store network are set to reach €37m this year.

Demand for locally produced and sourced variants like Queens and Homeguards is growing this year and SuperValu forecasts that there will be a 10% rise in new potato sales compared to 2019 figures, which is reflective of consumers increasingly turning to homecooked meals.

SuperValu is expected to source approximately 150 tonnes of new season Irish potatoes during the summer season, and one of SuperValu’s main potato suppliers is K&K Produce, based in St. Margarets, Co. Dublin.

Founded by Tommy and Deirdre Kennedy, K&K Produce is a second-generation operation, with five family members working across different areas of the business. K&K Produce has been supplying potatoes to SuperValu stores since the 1980s and currently supplies its delicious, locally-grown produce to SuperValu’s Own Brand new potato range.

Tommy Kennedy commented: “Working with SuperValu has allowed us to expand our company and we now employ 80 staff. We pride ourselves on sourcing homegrown Irish produce and our partnership with SuperValu is a perfect match, as they are real supporters of local producers and businesses.”

“We have also been quick to respond to evolving consumer trends and we were one of the first growers to introduce Baby Potatoes to Irish shelves. They have become a firm favourite with Irish shoppers and are now one of our most popular products. This is all thanks to our relationship with SuperValu, who have always supported healthy, nutritious and locally-grown food.”

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of SuperValu said: “As the number one supporter of the Irish food industry, we are delighted to be bringing the best of Irish food to shoppers at a time when people are cooking at home more than ever before. By supporting suppliers like K&K Produce, customers can also take heart from the fact they are providing a boost to the local economy during these uncertain times.

“The Kennedys are longstanding suppliers to SuperValu, and we will continue to work with them and other growers to deliver that great Irish staple, the new potato, to our customers. To provide that additional bit of inspiration to show all the different types of meals that can be prepared with the humble spud, we are posting new recipes on a daily basis on SuperValu.ie.”

SuperValu serves over 2.6 million customers every week and has 223 stores nationwide. Together with its retail partners, SuperValu employs approximately 14,500 colleagues, making it one of the State’s largest private-sector employers. SuperValu continues to source locally wherever possible which helps to sustain 30,000 jobs in the Irish economy.

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June 7th marks the second-ever World Food Safety Day

This international day is an opportunity to strengthen efforts to ensure that the food we eat is safe.

While food safety and quality has always been our top priority, it is more important than ever in the midst of the Coronavirus.

SuperValu have a dedicated team that continuously assesses product food safety and quality to ensure that we go above and beyond to meet the highest standards in our stores and across our supply chain. On any given day, our team can be visiting stores or producers, inspecting products in our distribution centres or evaluating the quality of an Own Brand product.

To ensure that we meet the highest standards, we put ourselves forward to be independently assessed and are currently in the process of rolling out the New Musgrave Retail Food Safety audit program. All SuperValu stores are approved to an External Accredited Standard for Food Safety, which makes SuperValu the only Irish retailer with the largest number of independently audited stores. All our distribution centres are in the process of rolling out the GFSI recognised FSSC 22000 certification for completion of accreditation by end of year 2020. In addition, our distribution centres independently hold other accreditations including BRC a Global Standard for Food Safety, Hygiene & Food Safety standards and Organic Certificates issued by Organic Trust Ltd which permits the distribution and supply of organic products.

Each of our SuperValu stores also has a dedicated Food Safety Champion to ensure all colleagues are fully trained in food safety principles in addition to the specifics of their role. Beyond our colleagues, we also ensure that all of our Own Brand suppliers has been audited against a comprehensive Food Safety and Quality Supplier Standard, reviewing all of the product controls, food safety and quality operations being carried out by these food producers. Wherever we can go above and beyond, we do. For example, we have additional measures in place for all of our SuperValu Fresh Meat to ensure that it is 100% Irish and Bord Bia approved traceable back to the Irish Farms of Origin.

Given the situation we now find ourselves in, additional measures have been put in place across our store network and supply chain to bolster our efforts in safeguarding customers, colleagues and suppliers in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic. A variety of social distancing initiatives, santisation, product safeguarding and protective measures have been put in place, with SuperValu leading the market by setting new standards like when we were the first grocery retailer to rollout plexiglass across our store network.

All of this combined means that SuperValu can always guarantee that the safest, freshest, best quality products are always available to you our customers. From the Butcher at the meat counter to the Food Producers behind our Own Brand range, all are dedicated to maintaining the highest food safety and quality standards. We are also keen to promote the important role that you as our customer has to play in keeping food safe when you return home and have a guide available here to ensure that the meals you prepare are made to the highest standards.

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Beara Hand Sanitiser Helps SuperValu Staff to ‘StaySafe’

SuperValu, Ireland’s leading food retailer, has announced that it will make ‘StaySafe’, an Irish produced hand sanitiser available to staff across its 223 stores. ‘StaySafe’ is a high-quality hand sanitiser being produced by Beara Distillery, who are better known as an award-winning gin producer based in West Cork.

Under the terms of a €250,000 supplier agreement with Beara Distillery, SuperValu has secured supply of 27,000 litres of the StaySafe hand sanitiser, which will be used as part of its rigorous in-store sanitising requirements for staff StaySafe was developed in accordance to the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, using 80% alcohol.

The introduction of the StaySafe hand sanitiser, which augments SuperValu’s existing hand sanitiser provision, is one  in a series of in-store safety and social distancing measures that the retailer has implemented across its store network. SuperValu was the first Irish food retailer to introduce plexiglass at tills and to facilitate the increased contactless payment threshold of €50 to protect staff and shoppers during Covid-19.

The StaySafe agreement with Beara Distillery also underlines SuperValu’s ongoing commitment to supporting local suppliers and sourcing local produce wherever possible. Beara, which produces its distinctive, high-quality Ocean Gin at the Beara Distillery in Castletownbere, West Cork, is a member of SuperValu’s pioneering Food Academy programme.

The innovative food start-up programme sees SuperValu partner with Bord Bia and Local Enterprise Offices to provide emerging Irish food businesses with their all-important first listing with a grocery retailer plus dedicated training and development plans. The Food Academy has already supported over 600 food start-ups.

Beara Distillery was established in 2017 by the Power family, who wanted to produce a gin that reflected the maritime heritage of the Beara Peninsula. Beara Ocean Gin, which is blended with sugar kelp seaweed and the fuschia bud, west Cork’s iconic flower and infused with Atlantic salt water, has won a number of awards, including being voted Best Irish Gin late last year.

Commenting on the development of the StaySafe hand sanitiser, Valerie, Eileen and John Power from Beara Distillery said: “Covid-19 has made businesses across Ireland change their focus and think about how they can respond to new challenges. We felt that there was an urgent need for Beara to assist in any way we could in combatting the spread of coronavirus, and we decided to produce an affordable, high quality hand sanitiser that will help keep people safe throughout the pandemic. Working with SuperValu, we want to make sure that their staff StaySafe.”

Commenting on the supplier agreement with Beara, Managing Director of SuperValu, Martin Kelleher said: “We’re delighted to be making available StaySafe, an Irish-made hand sanitiser, to our colleagues I’d also like to commend Beara for using their expertise to develop a high-quality, innovative product that will protect the public. SuperValu has worked closely with Beara Distillery since they entered the Food Academy programme and their ability to produce StaySafe underlines again the power of supporting local business and suppliers.”

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SuperValu Sales of Irish Lamb set to reach €16.5 million

SuperValu, Ireland’s leading food retailer, forecasts sales of €16.5 million in Irish Lamb in its stores across Ireland this year, as consumer demand for new season fresh Irish lamb surges.

All of SuperValu’s lamb is 100 per cent Irish-born and bred and sourced from Bord Bia quality-assured farmers. The rise in demand for lamb comes as increasingly, consumers turn to homecooked meals.

One of SuperValu’s lamb suppliers is Willie Fox, a fourth-generation lamb farmer based in Co. Westmeath. Willie, who has been farming for over 60 years, runs his farm with the help of his nephew Hugh and Willie’s wife Ann and his mother Maura. Based in Glasson village outside Athlone in Co. Westmeath, the mixed grazing farm includes over 250 breeding ewes.

The Fox family have been supplying SuperValu for 30 years now.

Hugh Fox said: “Our partnership with SuperValu has evolved over the years and has allowed us to invest in our flock and in the farm to ensure that our practices are as sustainable as possible. We use traditional techniques, which have been passed on for generations, as well as the latest advanced techniques. This combination of the traditional and the modern mean that we supply SuperValu with the highest quality of meat.”

He added: “Consumer tastes and preferences have changed over time with people becoming more health conscious. We have worked with SuperValu to understand these market trends more so we can produce the right product for the consumer. Lamb is rich source of high-quality protein and many vitamins and minerals, making it an excellent component of a healthy diet.”

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of SuperValu said: “As the number one supporter of the Irish agri-food industry, SuperValu partners with thousands of local suppliers across the country to ensure a secure food supply for our customers. During these uncertain times, we are delighted to continue to work with local suppliers like the Foxes to deliver high-quality meat to our customers. All SuperValu branded meat is 100% Bord Bia approved, meaning our customers can be confident they are buying the best in Irish meat, while also supporting local Irish suppliers like Willie and Hugh.”

The first of this new-season lamb is already on sale in SuperValu stores across the country,

SuperValu serves over 2.6 million customers every week and has 223 stores nationwide. Together with its retail partners, SuperValu employs approximately 14,500 colleagues, making it one of the State’s largest private-sector employers. SuperValu continues to source locally wherever possible which helps to sustain 30,000 jobs in the Irish economy.

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SuperValu Food Academy Go-Live Launch with 15 new producers

SuperValu supports local as 15 Food Academy producers are listed in-store

SuperValu, Ireland’s leading food retailer, is proud to announce that from today, products from 15 new Irish food producers who have successfully completed the Food Academy programme will be on sale in SuperValu stores.

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

The programme helps early-stage Irish food and drink businesses to get their start in the food retail sector with their first, all-important supermarket listing in SuperValu. For the 15 food start-ups, today marks the culmination of a journey that began back in October 2019 when they started the SuperValu Food Academy training programme and completed a series of training and mentoring courses.

This support for local is all made possible by SuperValu’s independent retail model, whereby retailers can give SuperValu Food Academy members access to one or a small group of stores, allowing them to manage demand as they grow their operations.

One of the food start-ups to list in SuperValu is Thanks Plants, a 100% plant-based, handmade vegan sausages brand. Produced locally in Ireland, Thanks Plants is a delicious and wholesome option for vegans and anyone trying to reduce their meat intake and is available in a number of varieties, including apple and sage; sundried tomato and herb and a frankfurter option.

Aisling Cullen, who set up Thanks Plants, said: “Over the last six months, with the help of SuperValu’s Food Academy, I’ve been working steadily to develop a unique product. Without the help of Food Academy, I would not be where I am now. It has given huge support to all the producers involved, and I recommend it for any new producer starting out.”

Some of the other suppliers include: Larkins Farm, Muckross Creamery and Loch Measc. These new suppliers reflect a shift in thinking towards sustainable, local food production and comprise healthy, plant-based and gluten-free offerings, underpinned by values of provenance, transparency, and authenticity.

Food Academy producers have sold a combined €140 million of produce in SuperValu since 2014, supporting 1,500 jobs in the economy. To date, 620 producers have come through the programme, with 272 producers currently enrolled in the programme.

Commenting on the Food Academy programme as products from 15 new producers go on sale in SuperValu stores, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu said “We have been supporters of local for 40 years and it’s part of our DNA. We started SuperValu Food Academy to support local food start-ups and the programme is more important than ever as we see consumers swing back to support our local food producers.

SuperValu’s network of independently owned and operated stores across Ireland means that we are best placed to support local food start-ups through SuperValu Food Academy. Our independent retailers can provide local producers with their all-important first supermarket listing, helping them to create employment in local communities, We believe in local business and Food Academy is great way for us to help new businesses to grow and get the support they need.”

The SuperValu Food Academy programme is now open for applications until Friday, June 26 2020. To apply, contact your Local Enterprise Office for an application form on www.localenterprise.ie

 SuperValu serves over 2.6 million customers every week and has 223 stores nationwide. Together with its retail partners, SuperValu employs approximately 14,500 colleagues, making it one of the State’s largest private-sector employers. SuperValu continues to source locally wherever possible which helps to sustain 30,000 jobs in the Irish economy.

The 15 new producers include:

Katie’s Kombucha, Dublin

Thanks Plants, Dublin

Plantruption, Dublin

Maisha Coffee, Dublin

Lets Chaat, Dublin

Builin Blasta, Galway

Portmagee Whiskey, Kerry

Muckross Ice Cream, Kerry

Camos, Kerry

Lough Measc. Mayo

Kaffa Coffee, Mayo

Subh Fraoc Ban, Monaghan

Larkins Hill Farm, Tipperary

Rivesci, Tipperary

Tex Mex Addict, Cork

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€50 contactless limit now in place in SuperValu, Centra and Musgrave MarketPlace enabled by Barclaycard Payments

Musgrave, Ireland’s leading food retail, wholesale and foodservice company, is pleased to announce that three of its retail brands – SuperValu, Centra and Musgrave MarketPlace – are accepting the new €50 contactless limit from today (1 April) as a result of its partnership with Barclaycard Payments. Customers are able to pay for purchases up to €50 with their contactless card or for higher value transactions with compatible smart devices.

Paul Adams, Head of Payment Acceptance, Barclaycard said: “We are proud to be working with Musgrave and taking a leadership role in Europe to start deploying a higher contactless threshold. By supporting the ability for Musgrave customers to spend up to €50 via contactless, we are playing a part in helping Irish consumers stay safe in these difficult times”.

Commenting, Musgrave CEO Noel Keeley added: “We welcome the decision by the banks to raise the contactless threshold and from today we are accepting €50 contactless payments. Musgrave has worked tirelessly to adopt all preventative measures available to ensure that our retail brands such as SuperValu, Centra and Musgrave MarketPlace can give our customers and our staff peace of mind. It’s important that people go about their shopping differently in order to make sure that everyone stays healthy and we would ask customers to tap and pay wherever possible or to use their smartphone for higher value purchases. We would like to thank our customers for their on-going patience and call on them to take note of the various measures currently in place.”

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Musgrave Group Statement on Coronavirus, COVID-19

Musgrave is closely monitoring the developing situation in relation to the Coronavirus COVID-19.

All of our operations as well as stores, warehouses and MarketPlace locations across our network of brands have been adhering to the latest updated guidelines provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE) or relevant health authority in their respective region.

The health of our colleagues, customers and supply chain partners is our top priority at this time. We have rolled out plexiglass screens across SuperValu, Centra, Daybreak and MarketPlace locations as an added protective measure for shoppers and colleagues. This follows the other preventative measures that have already been introduced such as hand sanitisers and social distancing practices; community support for the elderly and vulnerable; and minimising cash transactions where possible. We are also hiring hundreds of additional colleagues to ensure local communities are supplied with the food and products they need during this time.

We will continue to provide updates on our efforts as the situation evolves and updated guidance is announced.

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Plexiglass at tills for added protection

Plexiglass has been rolled out across SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak stores as an added protective measure for shoppers and cashiers against Coronavirus. This follows the other social distancing and preventative measures that have already been introduced such as hand sanitisers and tape on the floor to show customers how far to stay apart in queues, along with community supports for elderly and vulnerable people.

Commenting on the plexiglass installations, Managing Director of SuperValu and Centra, Martin Kelleher said: “We are going above and beyond for our team and customers who visit our stores by making this investment. It is very important for us to give peace of mind to our people, especially our cashiers who are the face of our retail stores. As we have said previously, it’s important that people go about their shopping differently to make sure that everyone stays healthy.”

“We would like to thank our customers for their ongoing patience and call on them to take note of the various measures in place. We also welcome the announcement by the banks that they will be raising the contactless threshold to €50 and would ask customers to tap and pay wherever possible, or to use their smartphone for higher value purchases.”

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