Tesco has revealed it sold millions of items of Northern Ireland produce in the run-up to Christmas, including enough sausages to stretch right across the country.
The leading retailer has more than 90 local suppliers and stocks more than 1,200 local products.
And it worked with these suppliers closer than ever during the run-up to the festive season to ensure its customers here had a wonderful homegrown Christmas.
In the week before Christmas it sold more than two million potatoes which were grown here and 100 miles worth of pork sausages – that’s more than one million sausages – made in Northern Ireland using local pork.
Wilson’s Country of Portadown, which supplies a million potatoes of various varieties per week to Tesco stores here, both under the Tesco and Wilson’s brands, put more than two million potatoes on the shelves in the final week of trading before Christmas Day.
Most of the million-plus sausages were supplied by Cookstown company Karro, which also supplied Cookstown and Tesco-branded gammon from Northern Ireland. Londonderry-based James Doherty Meats and Doherty and Gray of Ballymena supplied sausages of various shapes and sizes as well.
Craigavon-based Moy Park supplied nearly 100,000 Tesco-branded turkey crowns to Tesco stores right across the UK from its Ballymena plant.
The leading retailer, which has 56 stores here, spends nearly £600million on Northern Ireland products each year.
Other local suppliers who enjoyed a bumper Christmas week with Tesco NI included Dungannon-based Skea Eggs, which put 139,000 eggs into stores here, and Big Pot Co of Cookstown, which sold 4,200 large pots of its vegetable broth.
More than a million brussels sprouts were supplied by Loughgall-based vegetable processor and grower Gilfresh Produce. It supplied 108,000 500g packs of sprouts as well as 6863kg of loose sprouts.
And between them Gilfresh and Newtownards-based SparkyPac supplied more than a million carrots. Around 100,000 packs of carrots were put on Tesco shelves alongside 19,000kg of loose carrots.
Stuffing made in Northern Ireland was part of the retailer’s festive offering, too. Castlewellan-based TS Foods sold more than 50,000 bags of stuffing and almost 15,000 trays of stuffing.
Caoimhe Mannion, Marketing Manager for Tesco in Northern Ireland, said: “These impressive Christmas figures reflect our ongoing support for Northern Ireland suppliers. And we’re confident our many local suppliers will enjoy a prosperous new year.”