Seventeen Irish food companies are set to join the 2013 Tesco/Bord Bia Supplier Development Programme, launched yesterday by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD.
Covering categories such as confectionery, ice cream, seafood, bakery and health, the retail programme is designed to equip participants with the necessary skills required to secure, grow and maintain business with Tesco.
Also supported by Enterprise Ireland, it will involve three different levels - Local, National and Export - to assist small, medium and large sized companies.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Coveney, said: “I would like to commend Tesco for this initiative and congratulate the Irish companies who have successfully come through the 2012 programme, expanding sales and exports in the process. The Irish food industry continues to make a strong contribution to economic recovery and in this challenging environment, it is essential that our food and drink companies can have the support of and work with the retail sector to build relationships and improve their competitiveness.”
The success of last year’s programme saw Cashel Blue, Ballymaloe Sauces, Glenilen Farm, The Different Dairy Company, and Keogh’s Crisps all begin exporting products to Tesco stores in the UK. The total value of retail sales for participating companies exceeded €4million.
Tony Keohane, Chief Executive, Tesco Ireland, said: “Working with local suppliers is a key part of our business strategy. As the biggest supporter of the Irish food and agri sector we are proud to work with over 400 local companies bringing quality products to our Irish and international customers. €706 million of Irish food exports are now bought by Tesco’s international customers making Tesco a bigger destination for Irish food and drink than France, Germany or the US.”