Tesco is offering local Newry-based artisan food producers a unique chance to get their products in front of thousands of consumers. The company has been a major supporter of Northern Ireland producers for some years and is now taking that support further by offering small, local companies the fantastic chance to get their food into its stores.
Successful artisan producers will now have the opportunity to display, sell and allow customers to sample their fare in the foyer of Newry’s new Tesco Extra store for one or two weekend days, in a programme the company hopes will run during October. Tesco hopes that some, as yet undiscovered, firms producing first class food products could be given a massive boost by the scheme which could lead to eventual listings in Tesco stores.
Last year Tesco spent more than £520m on local products and now stocks around 1200 items from 90 Northern Ireland suppliers. One local firm whose products are sold by Tesco explained what it meant to their new business to get the backing of such a major multinational. Bryan Boggs, General Manager of Clandeboye Estates Yoghurts said: “Tesco agreed to list our products shortly after our launch in 2008 and this provided a fantastic lift to our business.
“They have been very supportive and offered us a lot of guidance on how to promote our products and also, being able to deal with Tesco people based here in Northern Ireland, has made a huge difference. Working with Tesco gave us fantastic leverage when dealing with other customers. Just to be seen to be able to supply and work with a major retail giant like Tesco helps show that your company is a reasonable size and quality. Tesco are so easy to work with. You just make one delivery to their depot and they handle the job of distribution throughout their stores.”
Stephen Magill, Tesco Extra Newry store manager explained the initiative is the latest element in Tesco’s drive to work in partnership with local artisans, including those from the Newry area. “Ultimately this is about giving our consumers the best range of top quality products and helping local artisans get a foot on the Tesco ladder. There are many instances of smaller local companies in Northern Ireland achieving listings here and then enjoying growth throughout our international network, so there are real opportunities. We’re looking forward to meeting people from the Newry area with good ideas, good products and good businesses with whom we can work in partnership.”
Companies interested in this new opportunity should e-mail Caoimhe Mannion at the Tesco Local Support Office in Newtownabbey firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday 30th August, providing the following information:
NB food safety/preparation and insurance paperwork will be required for all successful applicants.