Minister Kelleher launches Enterprise Ireland SuperValu Supplier Development Programme

Programme has delivered €12 million in sales for participants to date

Minister for Trade and Commerce, Billy Kelleher TD officially launched the Government supported 2010 Enterprise Ireland SuperValu Supplier Development Programme at a business breakfast in Cork. The programme, developed by Enterprise Ireland in partnership with SuperValu and assisted by Bord Bia and Teagasc, represents the fourth running of this innovative business development programme and is designed to support small or emerging food processing companies achieve the service standards, product quality and innovation necessary to achieve product listings on supermarket shelves.

The Enterprise Ireland SuperValu Supplier Development programme has seen 16 Irish food companies, including Sunshine Juice, Dunhill Cuisine, Kohinoor and Fresh Cut participate in the scheme since its inception in 2005. To date, participants in the programme have recorded a collective €12 million in direct sales to SuperValu. This year’s participating companies have a wide ranging product mix including environmentally friendly straw fire logs from Strogs in Dublin and artisan, specialist, gluten free cakes, breads and sweet treats from the Delicious Gluten Free Bakery in Cork.

Commenting at the launch, Minister Kelleher said, “The Enterprise Ireland SuperValu Supplier Development programme is a highly practical industry-led programme that has already opened doors for early-stage Irish food companies. The food industry is one of our largest indigenous sectors and a key contributor to the Irish economy. Encouraging and supporting the creation of Irish food companies is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland and I am delighted to see a brand like SuperValu, really get behind this initiative.

SuperValu brings a wealth of in-market experience to the programme. Their support has been invaluable and is a true demonstration of supporting Irish jobs, suppliers and communities. I would like to sincerely thank them for their continued support of the programme and its participants” the Minister added.

Commenting at the launch, Donal Horgan, Managing Director, SuperValu said, “Supporting entrepreneurship is at the very heart of what we do, across the country our 191 SuperValu stores are owned and operated by independent retailers, who are each entrepreneurs in their own right, so this programme is very close to our hearts.

The Enterprise Ireland SuperValu Supplier Development programme is an ambitious and innovative scheme, which has already borne fruit for both ourselves and the companies involved. To date there has been around €12 million worth of sales between us and the participant companies. For them this has obviously driven sales, while for us we have found a number of excellent supplier partners who have each brought something different and better to our business. We are already excited by the potential of this year’s participant companies“, added Horgan.

Frank Ryan, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said, “The 2010 Enterprise Ireland SuperValu Supplier Development programme is a highly innovative scheme, which enables small start-up food companies to fully understand the workings of the retail sector and the best approach to take in order for them to secure a listing with a retailer such as SuperValu. For Enterprise Ireland, this is exactly the type of partnership we want to see between producers and retailers in the food sector and it is an important part of our strategy for the further development of the consumer foods sector.

About the Enterprise Ireland SuperValu Supplier Development Programme

The six month long programme consists of a combination of workshops, delivered by both SuperValu and food industry experts and one-to-one mentoring. It is offered to companies that have the potential to meet Enterprise Ireland’s criteria for High Potential Start-Ups and also have the potential to offer SuperValu and its retail partners a product or service, which adds value and difference for its customers. This is the fourth running of this innovative business development programme.

About SuperValu

The SuperValu brand is owned by Musgrave Group with 191 independent retail partners operating their stores within the SuperValu network. During 2009 SuperValu made a significant contribution to the Irish economy and Irish suppliers with 75 per cent of all products purchased on behalf of all its retail partners, either produced or manufactured in Ireland. This represents a commitment of more than €2.6 billion to Irish suppliers, supporting more than 600 Irish supplier companies and over 14,000 jobs indirectly.

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