SuperValu partners with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan to bring Save The Bees Campaign to schools around Ireland

SuperValu is helping to create over 3,000 refuelling spots for busy bees in schools across the country

SuperValu and Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD have today launched the Save The Bees Campaign in partnership with the All-Ireland Pollinator plan and SuperValu TidyTowns. All 3,241 primary schools in Ireland will be sent a SuperValu Save the Bees Pollinator Pack so they can create their own bee-friendly garden.

This SuperValu Save the Bees Pollinator Pack was co-created with Dr Una Fitzpatrick, Head of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and is endorsed by SuperValu TidyTowns. It contains guidebooks, posters and bookmarks in addition to a pollinator-friendly garden kit with flower seeds and a garden sign. All elements of the Save the Bees Pollinator pack have been sustainably sourced and are recyclable.

To further promote awareness and action, families will receive their own Save the Bees cards in SuperValu with every spend over €30. These cards are added to each school’s Save the Bees poster, which, once completed, can be entered into a draw to win a share of €50,000 for the school.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD said “Protecting our pollinators helps in turn to protect our planet which is why I am thrilled to launch the SuperValu Save the Bees campaign. Educating our children and communities about the importance of pollinators is vitally important and I look forward to seeing bee-friendly school gardens pop up across the country in the coming weeks and months.” 

Through the Save the Bees campaign, SuperValu will work with schools and communities across Ireland to help educate people on the very real and current threat facing Ireland’s bees. As it stands, nearly one-third of Irish bees are in danger of becoming extinct. The loss of such a large portion of our bee population would be catastrophic. More than 75 per cent of our plant species are animal pollinated. Bees are important pollinators of Irish produce like strawberries and apples and they ensure diverse wild plant communities across the countryside that help regulate climate, provide healthy spaces for recreation, and support other wildlife.

Commenting on the campaign, Ian Allen, SuperValu Managing Director said

“At SuperValu, we are huge supporters of Irish producers and suppliers. We source 75 per cent of our goods in Ireland, and we want to keep buying and supporting Irish and local, which is why we are so committed to protecting pollinators. We are delighted to work with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan to make change through our Save the Bees campaign. There are simple steps we can all take to make Ireland a habitable ecosystem for bees and our SuperValu Save The Bees packs will provide support awareness, education and action for children across the country. This initiative will also give children the fantastic opportunity to win a share of €50,000 for their primary school.”

SuperValu want to help local communities, schools and families lead the way in creating an Ireland where pollinators can thrive. It is vital that bees and pollinators have enough to forage and safe places to use for nesting, among vegetation, the soil and hedges. The SuperValu Save the Bees campaign will not only help schools understand pollinators and how to protect them but also help them make Ireland more pollinator friendly.

The SuperValu TidyTowns competition also recognises the value and importance of biodiversity. Nearly half (46 per cent) of all TidyTowns committees say that biodiversity is their main priority area. More than 200 SuperValu TidyTowns committees have engaged with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and made their local areas significantly pollinator friendly. In 2021, Buncrana, Co. Donegal won the SuperValu TidyTowns’ All Ireland Pollinator Plan Local Authority Pollinator Award.

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD continued “The Save the Bees campaign is a great addition to the SuperValu Tidy Towns competition which continues to bring biodiversity and sustainability to the fore. Committees around the country have been rewilding spaces and creating new green areas in our communities, not only helping our pollinators but improving our shared spaces for the whole community.”  

Dr. Una Fitzpatrick, Head of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan included,

“The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is our opportunity to step forward and take action to save Ireland’s bee population from the threat of serious decline. This is why we’re delighted to partner with SuperValu for the ‘Save the Bees’ campaign, which is about educating ourselves and playing an effective role in saving our garden allies. We look forward to seeing the great impact that children across Ireland’s primary schools will have in helping to create a better future for bees.”

Professor Jane Stout, Deputy Chair of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan said

“While bees are busy collecting nectar and pollen from flowers to feed themselves and their families, they disperse pollen that enables plants to produce fruits and seeds. These are essential to maintain plant communities and beautiful landscapes, as well as supporting other wildlife, including birds, mammals and other insects. In addition, fruits and seeds contribute to a huge amount of the world’s food supply, with more than 75 per cent of leading food crops benefitting from animal pollination. We can help reverse the decline in bees by doing something as simple as returning the favour and making sure their habitats are rich with flowers to forage on and free of harmful threats, which is why this SuperValu Save the Bees campaign is so important.”

SuperValu is one of Ireland’s leading food retailers with 223 stores nationwide serving over 2.6 million customers every week. SuperValu has served the people of Ireland for over 30 years and has become a well-established landmark across Irish communities.

Together with its retail partners, SuperValu employs approximately 15,900 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.

For more information on the SuperValu Save the Bees campaign visit https://supervalu.ie/real-people/save-the-bees

Minister Humphreys announces Ennis Co. Clare as winner of Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2021

  • €1.5 Million announced in grant aid for over 1,000 TidyTowns groups nationwide.
  • Glaslough TidyTowns, Co. Monaghan named as the inaugural winner of the Young Persons in TidyTowns Award.
  • Minister Humphreys praises role played by TidyTowns volunteers during unprecedented period

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, today (12th November) announced Ennis, Co. Clare as Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2021.

The announcement was made at a scaled-back event held in the RDS today with a small number of representatives present from this year’s entries to the Competition.

The event was streamed live to thousands of TidyTowns volunteers around the country who were eagerly awaiting the announcement of the winners.

The SuperValu TidyTowns competition has been in existence since 1958 and Ennis, was judged to be the best from a number of 847 entries to the competition this year.

The announcement was greeted with much celebration and excitement at today’s awards ceremony at The RDS in Dublin.

On hand to announce the results of the 2021 competition with Minister Humphreys, T.D., was Mr. Ray Kelly, Marketing Director of SuperValu, the competition’s sponsor for the 30th year.

Some of the other big winners on the day included:

  • Geashill, Co. Offaly awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Village.
  • Abbeyleix, Co. Laois awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town.
  • Cobh, Cork South awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Large Town.
  • Ennis, Co. Clare awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre.

Speaking after the awards ceremony, Minister Humphreys said:

“This is a fantastic achievement for Ennis who are very deserving winners.  Ennis first entered the SuperValu TidyTowns competition in 1959 and continue to showcase all that is good about community and volunteerism. They have been consistently achieving high standards in the competition at local, regional, national and European level and won the competition previously in 2005. Given the tremendous interest in the competition and the increasing efforts made by all entrants, it is a wonderful achievement to take the national title for a second time; this really demonstrates that resilience and determination do reap rewards.

“I want to congratulate Ennis and all of the other deserving prize-winners announced today.  It has not been easy for TidyTowns groups during what has been an unprecedented period.

“Like all sections of society, the pandemic has prohibited us from participating in the things we enjoy within our own communities.

“I want to commend the hundreds of groups and thousands of volunteers who, in the face of adversity, put their community first and continued to make their areas better places to live and work and to visit, all the while, adhering to social distancing and public health guidelines.

“For that, on my own behalf and that of the Government, I want to say Thank You.”

Minister Humphreys also announced a special allocation of €1.5 million in funding to support the work of individual TidyTowns Committees around the country to assist them in their continued efforts to enhance their towns and villages.

This is the fifth consecutive year that funding has been provided to support these Committees and brings the total allocated since 2017 to €6.7 Million.

The Minister said:

“The sense of belonging and pride of place that is achieved by being part of a TidyTowns group creates a wonderful welcoming atmosphere for both residents and visitors alike.

“Given the challenges faced by TidyTowns groups during the pandemic and the way in which they moved to an online entry process, I am delighted to be able to announce that I have secured funding of €1.5 million to directly support the TidyTowns committees who, through their efforts, bring out the best in their towns and villages.

“In total, 1,022 TidyTowns groups across the country will be eligible to benefit from this investment.”

The Minister also thanked SuperValu, the competition’s sponsor, adding:

“Today, I want to congratulate SuperValu who celebrate their 30th anniversary of partnership with TidyTowns and sponsorship of the competition. The competition continues to attract new entrants and new awards and it is getting stronger every year.

SuperValu continue to show fantastic support for the competition through their financial sponsorship, their commitment to improving and growing the competition and through the dedicated support at a local level provided to TidyTowns groups by their network of local retailers.”

Mr. Ian Allen, Managing Director, SuperValu commented after the awards:

“On behalf of SuperValu I would like to congratulate Ennis for being named Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2021. It is a fantastic achievement and is the result of incredible work and dedication by the committee.

The outstanding efforts and achievements of the category winners, and indeed all of our committees across the country deserves significant praise and recognition. 2021 was another landmark year for SuperValu TidyTowns. We now have a record 1,022 groups engaging in the competition, with a record 847 entries this year. I’d particularly like to mention the new committees and encourage their participation into the future. The level and quality of the projects that you all delivered across all categories is astounding.

 At its heart, the SuperValu TidyTowns competition is the public expression of the work countless individuals undertake to build community spirit and make their local area a better place in which to live and work. The incredible committee members, in collaboration with our network of independent retailers, share our desire to build thriving, sustainable communities.

Mr. Allen went on to say,

“As long-term supporters of TidyTowns, we at SuperValu have seen first-hand the competition grow and evolve over time. This year, perhaps more than ever, we have seen an increasing number of wonderful initiatives that focus on biodiversity, conservation and other important issues that are critical to creating sustainable communities. This is something I welcome and encourage.”

The SuperValu TidyTowns competition is organised by the Department of Rural and Community Development and sponsored by SuperValu who have sponsored the competition since 1991.

Full details of all this year’s winners are available at www.tidytowns.ie and at www.supervalu.ie

Minister Humphreys announces return of SuperValu TidyTowns 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 TidyTowns 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 TidyTowns 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 TidyTowns Groups across the country.

Today, the Minister confirmed that over 800 TidyTown 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 TidyTowns competition and are excited for the months ahead.

“While the last year has been so challenging for everyone, I know that so many TidyTowns 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

Minister Michael Ring launches 2019 SuperValu TidyTowns

The 2019 SuperValu TidyTowns competition is now welcoming entries following the launch of the competition in the grounds of Dunboyne Castle Hotel in County Meath this morning (28th March). Now entering its seventh decade, the competition, which is administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development and sponsored by SuperValu, continues to act as a catalyst for voluntary activity and community participation across the country.

Speaking at the launch of the 2019 competition this morning, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, T.D., said: “The dedication and commitment shown by generations of volunteers and community groups throughout the TidyTowns competition’s 60 year history is extraordinary. The efforts of these TidyTowns committees have made Ireland’s towns and villages not only attractive and welcoming for visitors, but have created a ‘sense of place’ for those who live and work and raise families there.”

Minister Ring continued: “With 60 years behind us and looking forward to the next 60 years, we see the competition going from strength to strength. Last year, as we celebrated the 60th anniversary of TidyTowns, a record 883 communities entered the competition.”

“I am extremely proud of the role my Department plays in this competition and I would also like to say a particular thanks to SuperValu for their continuing efforts to maintain its success. Now in their 28th year as the main sponsors, SuperValu have helped to grow the competition to where it is today by getting involved locally through their nationwide network of retailers.”

Also speaking at the launch today, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of SuperValu, said: “SuperValu is delighted to partner with the TidyTowns competition for the 28th year. People take massive pride in their community and are coming together more than ever before to make their town or village even more picturesque.

“As our retailers live and work in their local community, they step up to play their part and are involved in TidyTowns committees right across the country. It’s particularly encouraging to see more initiatives aimed at making their communities more sustainable places to live, such as the project in Westport which aims to eradicate plastic straws in the town.

Last year the competition saw record numbers of committees participating and I am confident that the SuperValu TidyTowns competition will reach a new high point this year. I am calling on volunteers across the country to get involved and make 2019 an unforgettable year.”

In addition to the main competition, there is an increased number of Special Awards for 2019. Welcoming these awards, Minister Ring said: “I would like to thank all the sponsors of the Special Awards for their support over the years and to welcome some new sponsors on board. The number of Special Awards, such as the Pollinator Award and the Community Climate Action and Air Quality Award, shows the ever increasing appeal the SuperValu TidyTowns competition has. These awards add to the competition and I would like to encourage participants in the main competition to consider entering some of the other award categories as well. Full details of the Special Awards are available on the TidyTowns website, www.tidytowns.ie.”

The closing date for receipt of entries for this year’s competition is Friday 17th May 2019. Entry forms to the SuperValu TidyTowns competition can be obtained from the TidyTowns Unit in the Department of Rural and Community Development (Phone: 076 100 6912) or by visiting  www.tidytowns.ie or www.supervalu.ie

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