Artisan food producers from across Northern Ireland are being given a helping hand by Tesco this autumn. The artisans have been invited to showcase their products by creating displays and sampling their products in the foyers of large Tesco stores. Caoimhe Mannion, Marketing Manager for Tesco NI, explained: “By giving artisans a shop window we aim to raise their profile, generate sales for them and enable them to get feedback on price points, packaging, flavour and so on. “And for those who are ready for it this will help them to build a proposal to a Tesco buyer with a view to gaining a listing with us. We see it as a way that we can use our scale for the benefit of smaller food producers here.” FoodNI has applauded the initiative. The organisation’s Chief Executive, Michele Shirlow, said: “FoodNI welcomes this opportunity for members to get a helping hand from Tesco. The invitation to promote artisan produce in the foyers of Tesco stores really is a unique opportunity.” The artisan showcases begin this weekend when Bangor-based nut butter maker Keen Nutrition set up shop in the Tesco store at Knocknagoney last weekend. And the company will return there next month – on the 19th and 20th. Aimee Beimers, who owns the company, said: “Tesco is providing a fabulous opportunity for artisan producers like ourselves to introduce our products to new customers. “We are very proud of the nut butters that we make and this gives us a chance to show off our products to the wide range of customers that shop at Tesco.” Aimee added: “Not only will we be using this opportunity to introduce our products to new customers, but we’ll be making people more aware of the thriving artisan food industry in Northern Ireland. We’re passionate about healthy food and proud to share our knowledge with others.” Portavogie company Pizzado, which makes pizza kits, is in Tesco Newtownards on September 6 and 7, while Baronscourt Estate will be displaying its venison products in the Enniskillen store on September 13, 20 and 27. Eglinton-based Flossie’s Fudge, meanwhile, will be visiting Tesco Antrim on September 26 and 27 to showcase its range of handmade luxurious fresh dairy fudge. And Belfast pie company Jolly Pies is at Knocknagoney on September 27 and 28, while other artisans taking up the offer include Co Tyrone egg company Woodside Eggs, which will be in Tesco Cookstown on October 4.