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At the heart of the Northern Ireland food industry

MAY 2014




Ulster Grocer is published by Greer Publications 5B Edgewater Business Park, Belfast Harbour Estate, BELFAST BT3 9JQ Tel: 028 9078 3200 Fax: 028 9078 3210 Web: @ulstergrocer

35-37 12-13


12-13 - OIL BARON: This month’s store focus is Centra Gilford Road in Portadown, a thriving store run by local entrepreneur George Patterson, long-established as a local oil supplier.

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19-24 - DAIRY DYNASTY: Northern Ireland’s leading dairy processors are expanding, investing in both NPD and marketing, and well poised to meet increased competition as milk quotas come to an end. 25-34 - MARKETING MAGIC: Winners from this year’s Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards are profiled, alongside social pictures from the GroceryAid Ulster Grocers’ Ball attended by over 420 industry representatives raising £45,000 for the charity. 35-37 - FOOD SAFETY & SECURITY: In the wake of incidents such as horsegate, retailers and consumers are looking for greater food chain assurance. Fortunately, local expertise is at hand to help the food and drink sector comply.

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38-39 - 146TH BALMORAL: A bustling and vibrant Show showcased a wide range of food and drink businesses, and strong retail presence with both Spar and M&S using the occasion to award and recognise their leading local suppliers.


Editor: Alyson Magee E: Contributors: Brian McCalden Advertising Manager: Karen Graham E: Senior Accounts Manager: Michelle Kearney E: Art Editor: Karen Donnelly Production Manager: Stuart Gray Accounts: Gerardine Carson Publishers: James and Gladys Greer




Volume 49, Number 5 May 2014



GroceryAid thanks – Grocers’ Ball G

roceryAid Ulster Grocers’ Ball Committee Chairman Gerry Cassidy has expressed his appreciation for contributions from industry to the Ball. “It was a great night for the charity,” he said. “We are indebted to all the companies who offered their generous support making the evening an enjoyable experience for all the guests. “Many thanks to all who contributed to the success of the dinner including Asda, Bacardi, Cuisine De France, CocaCola, Courtney & Nelson, Dale Farm, Henderson Foodservice, Kerry Foods, PRM, Richmond Marketing, SHS, and Tesco. “Grateful thanks to all who supplied Auction prizes, Allied Bakeries, Kerry Foods, Moy Park, Selective Travel, SHS and PRM, and thanks to Tayto and Genesis for ballot prizes plus to all those who contributed product for the hampers, the helpers for hamper filling – Ulster Grocer, Henderson Group, Musgrave, Sainburys, SHS, and Tesco, and to all others who helped in any way. We look forward to seeing you all next year at the ball on 24th April 2015.” Check out some of the fun at https://

Finnebrogue & Karro seal new Asda deal

Pictured celebrating the new contract are, from left, Andrew Irwin of Karro Food Group, Jim Viggars of Asda and Denis Lynn of Finnebrogue.


n a major boost for Northern Ireland’s agri-food sector, two local businesses Finnebrogue in Downpatrick and Karro Food Group in Cookstown - have partnered to secure a sizzling multi-million pound UK contract with Asda to supply its entire range of Extra Special sausages and hot dogs. The biggest own-label contract to be won by any Northern Ireland Asda supplier to date, expected to total 3 million packs over the summer months alone, the Extra Special sausage range will be available in over 400 stores across the UK. The growth of its own-label supply contracts has also resulted in job creation at Finnebrogue, which has recruited 60 new staff to help it meet product demand. The Extra Special range developed for Asda includes 22 different product lines ranging from New York City-inspired Hot Dog Sausages to hot Louisiana Cajun Spiced Sausages and smoky sweet Tennessee Barbeque Pork Sausages. Top quality pork sourced from high-welfare

farms across Northern Ireland is initially prepared at Karro Food Group’s Cookstown plant. The meat is then transferred to the multi award-winning Finnebrogue estate in Downpatrick where the sausages are hand-made in small batches using only prime cuts from the shoulder and belly, and blended with natural flavourings and spices. “This is a highly significant contract and we’re delighted to announce the details at the Balmoral Show – the showcase event for Northern Ireland’s local agri-food sector,” said Jim Viggars, head of meat quality for Asda. “The partnership between Finnebrogue and Karro Food Group pays testament to the skills of NI’s farming community, the expertise of the local food processing sector and the quality of the region’s raw materials. “While we’ve worked with both Finnebrogue and Karro on an individual basis, it is fantastic to see how they’ve collaborated to produce superior quality products which complement and enhance our Extra Special range.” Denis Lynn from Finnebrogue said: “We are and will always remain an artisan food producer and we’re delighted that our innovative approach and quality-focus remains at the core of this new supply contract. This is also reflected in our partnership with Karro Food Group which, together with our transparent sourcing policies and welfare-friendly practices, delivers a highly sustainable premium sausage range for Asda customers across the UK.” James Greer, publisher of Ulster Grocer, extends his thanks to all of the hardworking volunteers who helped pack the GroceryAid hampers this year. Pictured on day two are, from left, Scott Taylor, Lara Pesik, Kim Gally, and Andrew Massey from Sainsburys; Siobhan Kissward, Alyson Magee and Manus Carson from Greer Publications. Not pictured is Gerardine Carson from Greer Publications, who was instrumental in helping operations run smoothly over the two days of packing. Volunteers from Henderson Group, Musgrave Retail Partners, Tesco Northern Ireland and Ulster Business also helped out.

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When it comes to supporting our retailers we’re very much at the cutting edge. That’s why we’ve recently introduced a smartphone app that allows our retailers to monitor the performance of their store even when they’re not there. Combine that with 7-day call centre support, dedicated sales and retail development teams and a committed programme of investment in innovation and it’s no wonder over 4,000 stores trust us to deliver the service they rely on.

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17/04/2014 16:58


Armagh Bramley Apples gain European protection


rmagh Bramley Apple growers in Northern Ireland have developed a new marketing identity and campaign to enable them to maximize the business benefits of EU Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, which protects unique food products. The growers have developed a new logo to showcase the apples as part of a marketing drive to boost sales to consumers and foodservice operations throughout the UK and Ireland. The apples gained PGI status in March 2012 and are grown in Co Armagh, Northern Ireland’s orchard county. “Our product always was unique, but now is recognised as such by the EU meaning that only growers in county Armagh can market apples as Armagh Bramleys,” said Hamilton Loney, chairman of the Northern Ireland Fruit Growers Association. “To help our customers identify these unique apples with a taste like no other, our growers are using a new, eye-catching logo. This identification is aimed to help add value to the product and increase demand for an apple with many uses and a healthy reputation.” The Association has formed an Armagh Bramley Apple Development Programme to help drive growth through a series of promotional activities including initiatives with retailers, business groups, local government and tourism bodies to develop the growing region as a mini-break destination offering an apple experience for all the family. The initiative is also supported by the Fruit Industry Federation. “Building on existing events linked to apple blossom and harvest times as well as competitions for growers and consumers will help tell our story,” said Loney. The objective is to emulate the success of other PGI products such as Scottish beef, Welsh lamb and Melton Mowbray Pork Pies in Britain. The orchards in Armagh produce more than 400,000 tonnes of Bramley apples annually. The crop is sold for retail, catering and for cider production in Northern Ireland and the Republic. Upwards of 140 growers are engaged in the industry. The apples have a sharper, tarter taste than those grown in England. The marketing drive comes as the EU has increased funding available for the global marketing of foods with PGI status.

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LMC calls on retailers to support local lamb S

upport from Northern Ireland’s multiple retailers for local lamb leaves room for improvement, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC). LMC commissioned Millward Brown Ulster to conduct research into the origin of prepacked beef and lamb stocked across a variety of retail stores in Northern Ireland. From August 2013 to March 2014, information was collected on a monthly basis by a Millward Brown Ulster Mystery Shopper visiting five separate stores and recording origin from product labels. Each month, a fresh sample of stores and geographical location was selected. “It is important for the industry to have independently accredited market information on the commitment of Northern Ireland’s retailers to local Farm Quality Assured beef and lamb,” said Colin Smith, industry development manager at LMC. “Whilst not surprising, the results of this study for lamb, excluding Sainsbury’s, will no doubt come with a degree of disappointment to local sheep farmers who take pride in producing quality lamb on their family farms. “Sainsbury’s was the top performer, with an average of over 86% of lamb offerings labelled as Northern Irish during the period. Tesco had 6.5% of their pre-packed lamb labelled

as being from Northern Ireland during the period; however, with more recent initiatives to improve commitment to local new season lamb, this looks set to increase going forward. Asda (35%), Lidl (28%) and SuperValu, who stock lamb in selected sites, made up the rest of the sample. “With lamb being a seasonal product, there are obvious challenges for retailers when trying to source lamb all year around but, Sainsbury’s aside, there is clearly an opportunity for retailers to boost their support for the local sheep meat industry by procuring more Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured lamb. The results for beef were much more encouraging with Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda and SuperValu all having an average of close to 100% of their beef labelled as Northern Irish or British. On average, Lidl has a greater proportion of Irish beef in store in comparison and therefore just over 86% was labelled British or Northern Irish.” Stores visited included Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Lidl and SuperValu, across locations in Belfast, Lisburn, Cookstown, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Ballymena, Newtownabbey, Antrim, Craigavon, Newry, L’Derry and Kilkeel. A full summary of the results to date is available on the LMC website.

A team from Mackle Petfoods recently completed an eight-mile walk at the Belfast Marathon, raising over £2,000 for the Clic Sargent Children’s Cancer Charity. Pictured are, from left, Karen Douglas, Amy Kelly, Debra Murphy, Steph Magowan, Elaine Hall, Claire McCann, and Gwen Rafferty.

Local model Katie Larmour helped Lidl celebrate its 15th birthday in Northern Ireland this month. Since opening its doors in Cookstown on May 20, 1999, the discount retailer has expanded to 36 stores working with over 35 local suppliers.


Moy Park reports strong sales growth R

eports are circulating of a possible stock floatation for Moy Park, which last month announced strong results with revenues up 10% to £1.2b and pre-tax profits of £33.8m in 2013. Marfrig, the Brazilian owner of Moy Park, has confirmed it is looking at potentially selling stakes in the group, as well as US-based Keystone Foods, to pay down debt and finance further expansion in Europe and Asia. “The business delivered a strong financial performance in 2013 in what were challenging economic and trading conditions and against a backdrop of high commodity input costs,” said Janet McCollum, chief executive of Moy Park. “The company’s performance reflected the great efforts and contribution of the Moy Park team in expanding sales and controlling costs while investing for future growth. “We achieved strong growth across both retail and foodservice channels in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe. We were also very pleased that our own Moy Park brand gained further market penetration in Ireland. Moy Park is now Ireland’s leading poultry brand and is purchased by over 50% of households. “The demand for locally-sourced poultry from the major supermarkets in the UK and Ireland has increased. This, together with underlying market growth reflecting the popularity of poultry meat amongst consumers, has enabled Moy Park to increase fresh poultry and convenience foods sales through successfully growing with both existing and new customers. “A major part of our success has been, and will continue to be, our commitment to the production of high quality products and striving to exceed customer and consumer expectations through innovation, food development, consumer insight and category marketing.

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“Moy Park is well positioned for continued growth. In 2014 and in subsequent years our plans are to continue to grow the business through investment in industry leading farming and operational facilities.”

Darren Given, manager of Swift’s SuperValu Lisnaskea, will be competing with retailers from across the globe after being shortlisted for the NACS Insight International Store Manager of the Year Award with the grand final in London on June 4. Given is pictured with store owner Stephen Swift and staff. The awardwinning store, owned by the Swift family, is the largest employer in Lisnaskea town with over 80 staff, and specialises in all areas of fresh food sales.


Historic Belfast deli launches new line for tourists S

awers, Northern Ireland’s oldest deli, has developed new artisan products aimed at the thousands of tourists expected to visit over the next few months for international events such as the Giro d’Italia. The historic deli in Belfast city centre, owned by Kieran Sloan, has teamed up with a local artisan jam maker to develop branded products especially for tourists. The city is also expected to host over 600 cruise vessels with many thousands of visitors over the next six months. Several food tours are being developed as Belfast recovers from the difficulties of the past. To provide distinctive artisan foods for tourists to take home as tasty souvenirs, Sloan has developed handmade Belfast branded jams under his artisan portfolio of original flavours. The products are a coarse cut Belfast Marmalade, made from lemon, orange, grapefruit and ginger, and a Belfast Preserve from raspberries and limes, both in 311g pots.

The handmade jams are being produced in association with Portadown-based artisan producer Cottage Pride. “We’ve a very exciting and innovative artisan food sector here and it makes sound business sense for me to give these companies a chance to showcase their products,” said Sloan. “The Belfast Marmalade and Belfast Preserve jams are also packaged with Belfast Breakfast Brew, a distinctive and award winning tea from Suki Teahouse, also based in Belfast. It makes a great gift pack from Belfast. “The jams are a direct response to requests from visitors to the shop for distinctively Belfast flavours. Both influences led me to link up with some local producers to create a uniquely Belfast/Northern Irish artisan food range that’s easily carried. They are also available in hampers.” The deli has been listed by tourism bodies among the 30 places tourists should visit.



formal partnership agreement aimed at getting more people, especially those aged under 25, into careers in the retail sector has been reached between the British Retail Consortium and Department for Work and Pensions. Working in co-operation, both organisations will be better able to meet the needs of businesses in the retail sector, while giving those people who wish to pursue a career in retail a renowned route into work. “Too often, when we think about a job in retail we think about a job on the shop floor – but the opportunities available are far more diverse than that,” said Helen Dickinson, director general of the BRC. “UK retailers are using cutting edge technology to get their products to consumers, so they need people with digital and IT skills to make that happen. There are also roles in areas such as HR, finance, logistics, design and many more. We need to start valuing retail jobs more, if we don’t, too many people will miss out on a rewarding career.”



ayPoint has announced that Skype vouchers are now available from over 26,500 shops in the PayPoint network throughout the UK. “Skype’s increasing popularity means that demand is growing among people who don’t necessarily have access to bank accounts or plastic cards, which is why the PayPoint network is an obvious choice for Skype to extend its service to these customers,” said Andrew Goddard, retail director at PayPoint UK & Ireland. “This is another example of how we are consistently concentrating our efforts on signing up new products and services that broaden the range of people using PayPoint services and generate additional footfall and sales for our retailers.”



Centra sponsors Ulster Rugby Summer Camps R

avenhill heroes Ruan Pienaar, Roger Wilson, and Robbie Diack have teamed up with independent retail group Centra to kick off this year’s Ulster Rugby Summer Camps with over 1,500 places available. The five-day camps, sponsored by Centra and its independent retailers, will run between June 30 and August 22 at a variety of venues. Qualified youth coaches and players from the Ulster team will be on hand to give youngsters tips on the game, talk to them about life as professional players and sign sought-after autographs. “This is the sixth year that Centra and its independent retail partners across Northern Ireland have supported Ulster Rugby Summer Camps, and we are very proud of that association,” said Nikki McDowell, brand manager at Centra. “The camps offer young people the chance to learn new skills and of course meet Ulster Rugby players, who drop into every camp throughout the summer. The additional camps allow many more children to take part and enjoy a week of rugby during the summer holidays.” Application forms are being distributed to schools and rugby clubs across Ulster and are also available from local Centra stores. Full details are available on

Ulster Rugby players Ruan Pienaar, Robbie Diack and Roger Wilson are pictured with Centra retailers Robert and Dympna Millen and young fan Charlie Adams.



orth Down Group and SPAR are appealing to local supporters to grab a healthy snack while raising vital funds for NSPCC’s ChildLine Schools Service in Northern Ireland. North Down Group has produced special edition packs of apples which are being sold in SPAR stores across Northern Ireland. The packs come with free funny face stickers, and 10p from each one sold will be donated to the ChildLine Schools Service. The special funny face packs of apples are now available across SPAR stores in Northern Ireland. Pictured are, from left, Elizabeth Whiteside of NSPCC, Robert Adair of North Down Group and Bronagh Luke, corporate marketing controller for Henderson’s.

Musgrave staff gain WorldHost certification


number of staff from Musgrave Retail Partners stores across Northern Ireland have been awarded ‘WorldHost’ certification. SuperValu Ballymoney, Centra Omagh Brookmount, Centra Crossmaglen, Centra Trory and Centra Ballinamallard completed the renowned Customer Service Programme ‘Sales Powered by Service’ earlier this year, in conjunction with the Southern Ian Elliott, store manager of McCool’s SuperValu Ballymoney, proudly Regional College. presents staff with their much coveted ‘WorldHost recognition for excellent The training provides staff Customer Service’ certificates and badges after successfully completing the standard. with effective selling skills enabling them to maximise every sales opportunity and deliver excellent service standards within their community. It supports Musgrave’s focus on driving sales and retail excellence amongst its independent retail partners. Stuart Roulston is owner of Centra Ballinamallard and Centra Trory, both of which have completed the WorldHost programme. “Staff at both of my stores have undertaken the WorldHost training initiative and found it to be extremely beneficial in giving them a clear understanding of what the customer is looking for and how they can deliver on expectations,” he said. “I have already noticed the difference the programme has made to staff in both stores in terms of their confidence and sales skills.” 10

Irwin’s Bakery ran a Giro D’Italia-themed promotion with 20 SPAR stores along the three ‘Big Start’ routes in the run up to the bike race, offering shoppers a prize draw to win a bike and £50 worth of Irwin’s vouchers. Nutty Krust, Softee and Rankin Selection Brown Soda bread packs were given a ‘Giro Pink’ makeover for the event. Pictured are, from left, Graham Douglas, store manager at Fruitfield Filling Station, Richhill, Clodagh Wilson from Cookstown and Colette Wilson, marketing manager at Irwin’s Bakery.


Irwin’s Bakery extends its Tesco range P

ortadown-based Irwin’s Bakery has secured a contract to extend its ‘Irwin’s Freshly Baked’ table bread range across 25 Tesco stores in Northern Ireland. New additions to the range include wheaten, treacle and fruit sides, plain, chocolate and lemon Madeira cake, malted and white sub rolls and strawberry shortcake, chocolate and honey and raisin biscuits. The new products will add to the existing Irwin’s table bread range, which includes traditional Northern Ireland favourites such as fruit soda, fruit loaf and the iconic Belfast baps. “The range is made by a handful of our bakers in a bespoke artisan area of the bakery,” said Stefan Szymura, account manager with Irwin’s Bakery. “Very little machinery is used and all the Pictured are, from left, Mark Montgomery, store manager of Tesco products are hand-finished. We Portadown, Rachelle Burns-Delaney of Irwin’s Bakery’s and Stefan Szymura, Irwin’s national account manager for Tesco. launched the Irwin’s ‘Freshly Baked’ table bread range exclusively with Tesco in 2012. Since then demand has grown and we have extended the range to include new products.” Irwin’s has been supplying bakery products for the Tesco Finest range across the UK for more than 20 years, and also supplies branded lines to the retailer including Irwin’s, Rankin Selection and Howell’s Handmade.



’Donnells Crisps has secured listing for its two best-selling flavours, Mature Irish Cheese & Red onion and Irish Cider Vinegar and Sea Salt, across all 17 Asda Stores in Northern Ireland. Since its launch in June 2010, O’Donnells Crisps have quickly grown to be the number one Irish hand cooked crisp brand. Key to the success of the brand has been its sourcing of local producers to supply its natural flavours resulting in a superior hand cooked crisp. “This is fantastic news for us as we aim to increase our distribution in Northern Ireland.” said Ed O’Donnell, managing director of O’Donnells. “Asda are great to support local food producers so we are very excited to see our crisps in their stores.” O’Donnells also took part in the Balmoral Show, showcasing its full range of five unique flavours in the shopping village at the show. O’Donnells Crisps are already widely available in the Republic and most Spar, Centra and Supervalu stores in the North.

Hovis bakes new speciality bread for M&S H

ovis has developed a new line, Jalapeño Corn Bread, exclusively for the M&S Summer of Flavour range to be sold in stores across the UK. Inspired by American and Mexican recipes, ingredients include Monterey Jack cheese, corn flour, buttermilk, jalapeños and sweetcorn. “We have been providing M&S with a variety of traditional bread products for more than 40 years, since the retailer opened its first store in Belfast in 1967,” said Billy Thompson, business unit manager of Hovis. “We’ve built a strong relationship over the years and it’s great to still be working with them to create the new Jalapeño Corn Bread, a modern twist on our traditional baking process. “In keeping with M&S’ Plan A initiative, we use local ingredients at our bakeries – including buttermilk from Ballyrashane Co-operative – so this new bread is benefiting other companies in Northern Ireland too.” The new M&S Jalapeño Corn Bread is available to buy in 400 M&S stores from April until the end of September.

Finbar Mallon from Lurgan is pictured getting a few tips from Niamh McDaid of Cancer Focus Northern Ireland about staying safe in the sun as the temperatures rise. Cancer Focus is running its popular care in the sun project (supported by Lidl NI) in schools across Northern Ireland this month; reminding everyone to cover up, even on cloudy days, to lower the risk of skin cancer. Visit for more details.



Centra Gilford Road, Portadown Armagh’s own oil baron has great plans to expand grocery and hot food services at his Centra store, as Brian McCalden reports.

From left, owner George Patterson and Manager Nigel Beattie at Centra Gilford Road.


ortadown now has its own version of Texas oil baron, J R Ewing, as local entrepreneur George Patterson who runs the long-established Patterson Oil has recently opened the new Gilford Road Centra. The recently constructed 3,000-square-foot shop, which has a forecourt and 24-hour fuel, has replaced the existing Spar and forms part of a major investment with Patterson Oil already relocating part of its operation to the new site. When George first bought the site five years ago, he had no food retailing experience at all and said he was swayed by the potential of the Gilford Road site; as any estate agent would say, it fills the three vital criteria of ‘location, location and location’. “The offices for my oil business at Hunter’s Hill Road are already relocated to the same site as the shop,” says George. “I saw there was huge potential from passing trade with heavy traffic on what is a major arterial route on Gilford Road and bought an existing small store that was first developed as an 800-square-foot Spar to include the existing post office and petrol forecourt. “That was five years ago, when I bought out the sitting tenant and, even though I was a total novice, have since looked at the wholesaler offers – including what Henderson’s was providing – and examined Costcutter too, but while the new store was still being constructed, I made an agreement with Musgrave Retail Partners NI (MRPNI) to open as a Centra,” he says.

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Oiling the wheels George says the new facility is a great fit with his existing fuel business and that he purchases all his ‘additised’ retail fuels from Texaco, rather than from his own Patterson’s Oil service. “My own vehicles collect from Texaco – rather than have it delivered - which means I can better gauge the fluctuations of what is a very volatile fuel market where worldwide prices can change hourly, never mind daily,” said Co Armagh’s own ‘oil baron’ who also balances this out with running a BP account as well. “As an independent, I can effectively ‘play the market’ and pass savings on to my customers. Indeed, I price match the forecourt with the big stores and even beat Asda on fuel sometimes too.” On petrol and diesel he insists that quality is a major factor, and is in the process of producing a sign for customers urging them to fill up and then check their consumption: “MPG (miles per gallon) is very much a matter of fuel quality and I am going to challenge my customers to compare my fuel with that dispensed at the supermarkets,” he says. George says Centra provides retailers with a ‘better fit’ business model including - hot food/ deli/coffee expertise, staff training and sales support. “They even send out a mobile training unit to update my staff onsite,” he says. “This ‘bus’ facility will be shared with other Centra retail staff on the day, but no other wholesaler offers a similar resource for staff development.” He has seen tremendous advances in two

particular aspects of the new store: hot food and the ground-breaking post office. “The post office is a new ‘combi-unit’ which, although just a small glazed unit beside the checkouts, actually offers 95% of the services that a full post office provides. “I am very pleased with this,” he says. The hot food is open for breakfast and lunch and draws a very busy trade, with many customers also buying tobacco, newspapers and other staples from the store and George is actively looking at evening opening. “The counter and food preparation is already in place, so there’s little outlay needed in getting an evening shift underway too,” he says. “The likes of takeaway pizza and fish and chips would be on the menu.” George says that, while he is serviced by several weekly deliveries of ambient, chilled and frozen produce from Musgrave, he can also take advantage of numerous local producers. “I am proud to be associated with various products such as those from Knox Butchers and the likes of local bakeries as well as the high quality, award-winning Morelli ice cream. “Centra also supplies a large range of £1 products with promotions that change every three weeks and these are clearly very competitively priced and bring in a great deal of business,” he says. He is erecting an electronic display that will show his oil prices in real time, allowing customers to compare the actual cost of a domestic oil-fill of 900 litres, for example.

STORE FOCUS Staff The Centra store employs 25 full- and parttime staff, along with numerous drivers and depot staff in the Patterson’s Oil Portadown facility and in the second depot at Omagh. Fuel is fast growing too, helped by the busy location of the store. A high quality, slow burn coal is imported from the award-winning Ferguson’s in Scotland, and no more expensive than competitors. He says there’s much more use of the ‘takeaway’ home-heating oil pumps too; given the way the price of fuel rose in the last few years. “Overall, fuel is double the volume of what it was in the previous shop and the provision of a free use external ATM and 24-hour card payment facility for petrol and diesel means we ‘never close’,” the oil entrepreneur says. The store itself is open 6.30am to 10pm daily and also offers customers toilet and baby changing facilities, an enormous range of newspapers and magazines and Paypoint and Lotto, as well as providing more convenient parking to customers with over 30 spaces. “Gilford Road is a busy arterial road and the Centra commands a high profile location which services both residential housing developments and a number of schools,” he says. Commenting, MRPNI Centra Business Development Manager Brian Ross said: “I’m delighted that a well-established local businessman such as George has decided to open a new Centra store in Portadown. The Gilford Road site is a very exciting addition to the Centra retail group, providing a fantastic range of services to the local community. “This latest Centra store opening brings a total of six new stores across Northern Ireland in just six months, driving investment within

the local economy.” MRPNI supports over 250 independent SuperValu, Centra and Mace retail stores in Northern Ireland, with a combined turnover

in excess of £600m. MRPNI is part of the Musgrave Group, partner to more than 3,500 entrepreneurial retailers and food service professionals in the UK, Ireland and Spain. Centa offers its partners expertise in the hot food/deli/coffee model, says George Patterson, including staff training and sales support

A new ‘combi-unit’ post office offers 95% of the services a full post office provides and is performing well.

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Sponsored by

My Life in the Grocery Trade Wendy Sterritt, NPD manager at Willowbrook Foods WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ROLE? At present, my role is that of new product development manager at Willowbrook Foods. BRIEFLY OUTLINE YOUR EMPLOYMENT HISTORY TO DATE. For 26 years, I worked for the Northern Ireland Civil Service before taking a new career path into the food industry. I joined Willowbrook Foods in 2009 as a food technologist, before being promoted to my current role. WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE? I am responsible for the management of the innovation and development of new products from conception to launch on the retail shelf. WHEN DID YOU TAKE UP THIS POST? I became new product development manager in 2012. WHAT ARE THE BEST/WORST PARTS OF YOUR JOB? As new product development manager, I love that I am constantly learning new things. Product ideas can cover a wide range of food categories so it is a challenge to come up with ideas that transfer well from the kitchen to the factory. BRIEFLY OUTLINE A TYPICAL DAY. My role involves working with the new product development team to create new and exciting recipes for our customers. It


is then that all new food recipes from the development kitchen are transferred to the factory for trial to ensure they meet customer expectations. Other tasks include assessing the shelf life of new products, working out their nutritional content, investigating market trends within the food industry and identifying gaps in the market. WHAT HAS BEEN THE PROUDEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE? Seeing new products, that I have been involved in developing, sitting on the retail shelf. Recently we developed a product requested by a customer and it won a best award at the Blas na hEireann. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING INVOLVED WITH THE LOCAL RETAIL INDUSTRY? Being involved in local retail gives me a great sense of achievement; knowing that local people are consuming locally produced products which have been produced by the company that I work for and I personally have had an input into. WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AWAY FROM WORK? I enjoy walking, going to the gym and cooking for family and friends. TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY KNOW. Now that would be telling.


Mash Direct hosts 10th anniversary celebration T

rade Minister Arlene Foster and Finance Minister Simon Hamilton have praised Comber business Mash Direct for its achievements in international markets through a commitment to innovation. The ministers were speaking at an event held to mark the 10th anniversary of the company’s formation. Mash Direct started life in 2004 as a farm diversification Pictured are, from left, Ulster and Ireland star Rory Best, Mash Direct project by husband and wife Director Tracy Hamilton, Trade Minister Arlene Foster and Mash Direct Managing Director Martin Hamilton. team, Martin and Tracy Hamilton and their two sons Lance and Jack, and now employs over 120 people. “Mash Direct is a superb example of how the enterprise has transformed from a small family farm into an award-winning and increasingly successful exporter,” said Foster. “The Hamilton family have shown outstanding commitment to both their family-run enterprise and the food industry. Innovation and new product development have been at the forefront of the business and their dedication is a source of inspiration to others in the farming, food and business communities. “The company is now a market leader in vegetable accompaniments with an impressive range of convenience meals and ‘food to go’ dishes supplying many of the leading retailers in Britain, the Republic of Ireland, Europe, the US and the United Arab Emirates. “Mash Direct has a longstanding engagement with Invest Northern Ireland and has benefited from a range of support to enable the company to target export opportunities.”

Irn-Bru introduces Glasgow 2014 limited edition packs I

rn-Bru is helping retailers make the most of the sales opportunities from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games with the launch of a range of limited edition packs from this month. As the Official Soft Drink of Glasgow 2014, Irn-Bru is aiming to drive excitement around The Games with its new Born to Support packs, featuring a special design combining the Glasgow 2014 logo with Irn-Bru’s iconic ‘molten man’. “This combination creates a confident, evocative pack design that will reinforce Irn-Bru’s relationship with the biggest event to be staged in the UK this year,” said Adrian Troy, head of marketing for AG Barr. “With excitement for Glasgow 2014 continuing to build, consumers will be actively seeking products which enable them to show their support for this momentous event. “The new eye-catching packs from IRN-BRU, the UK’s number one flavoured carbonate*1*, will drive traffic to soft drinks fixtures across the UK.” The special logo will appear on: 2 Litre; 500ml; 4x330ml and 8x330ml packs. * Nielsen Scantrack, Volume Sales, MAT to 01/03/14, Total Impulse 15


It’s official – Hovis is Northern Ireland’s favourite bread T

he most recent IRI data has shown that Hovis is Northern Ireland’s leading bread brand, with almost 29% of market share of bread sales in Northern Ireland, ensuring that Hovis Bakeries Ireland is the No.1 branded bread supplier in the marketplace. Hovis is the fourth biggest grocery brand in the UK in terms of turnover and is synonymous with bread, thanks to its 130-year history. The range is baked locally in Belfast every day for the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland markets. Being the No.1 bread in Northern Ireland, its popularity is unquestionable. Over the border, the Hovis brand continues to stretch its reach across the island of Ireland. The brand is now available from Portrush to Cork and there’s a strong degree of confidence in the brand in RoI this year. The Hovis brand is entering a new phase with a recent announcement of significant investment which will galvanise the brand’s position and allow it to introduce new innovative products to the market place. Trevor McCrum, business unit director said: “The new investment is a key opportunity to develop the brand even further. It will also help us with planning for the longer term. He added: “Our aim is to continue to grow our market share in both Northern Ireland and RoI and be stronger as a result. We’ll be working very hard over the coming months to maintain that position.”

Hovis has it all wrapped up N

ew improved packaging for all the breads in the Hovis range is launching this month. This packaging refresh has come about in response to in-depth consumer research, which highlighted the importance of clear branding and messaging on the packs, as well as allowing the softness and freshness to come through; even before opening. “Quality and freshness are synonymous of the Hovis brand, as well as the fact that it is free from all artificial preservatives,” said Jackie Kirk, brand manager at Hovis, Belfast. “And it is those qualities which are reflected in the packaging as well as the product itself. This design refresh means that all products in the range will make a real impact on the shelves, with distinct colours to allow consumers to recognise the products at a glance.” The top, sides and ends of the packaging are clearly branded, with each product telling its own story, whether it’s graphics of a wheat field for Hovis Wholemeal, or strong graphics of the seven seeds to highlight the Seed Sensations range. The unique Hovis Granary also gets a makeover, with Best of Both shouting out those allimportant nutritional messages to the time-poor but very savvy mums! “We have aimed for quality and consistency with this packaging refresh, which we know will have tremendous impact and will help drive sales to ensure we remain Northern Ireland’s No.1 bread brand,” said Jackie. 16


Pre-tax profits jump for Fane Valley N

orthern Irish dairy and meat processor the Fane Valley Co-operative saw turnover grow by 17% and pre-tax profits by 50% last year. The group, based at Armagh, achieved a rise in sales to £534m and profits to almost £9m for the year ending September 30, 2013, while its net assets increased by 15%. As well as a dairy export business in Banbridge, the Co-op owns meat processors Linden Foods and Kettyle Irish Foods in Northern Ireland and Slaney Foods in the Republic of Ireland. Fermanagh-based Kettyle Irish Foods is a specialist in dry-aged beef as well as lamb, bacon and chicken, and supplies meat to retailers and foodservice organisations in the UK, Republic of Ireland, continental Europe and the Middle East. Group Chief Executive Trevor Lockhart described the performance as “extremely pleasing” with all divisions making a significant contribution to the year-end result. He added that the Fane Valley Group continued to develop in a “very positive way”.

“The 2013 year started with one of the most difficult winter and spring periods in recent memory and concluded with one of the better grazing and crop growing seasons,” he said. “Farmers faced enormous challenges in managing land and livestock through to turnout, which in turn impacted on productivity levels and business cash flows. For many farm businesses, it will take most of 2014 to fully recover.” “In Fane Valley Dairies we maintained our focus on increasing the proportion of milk supplied directly from supplier farms. During the year, 100 million litres were added to our growing pool. A further 50 million litres has been added since the September year-end with the overall volume now surpassing our objectives for the project. “The milk supply surge, which was the inevitable result of higher farm gate prices, is now having a dampening effect on the market demand situation as reflected in the 18% fall in the GDT over the past three events. This can be expected to result in some weakening of farm gate returns over coming months as processors move off higher priced contracts.”

The Linden Food Group, including the Slaney Foods joint venture, meanwhile saw sales grow by 19% to reach £337m, completing another successful year of development. However, Lockhart said the real impact of the ‘horsegate’ saga is only being felt now, with a change notable in the market dynamics for beef since late 2013. “Yet again consumer confidence in beef has been rocked with the effect not being limited to the UK and Ireland,” he said. “These events have led us into a whole new world with regard to customer specifications, production and processing standards and the associated controls and traceability. “The full impact of post ‘horsegate’ changes within supply chains, a reduced consumer demand for beef across Europe and a lack of retailer promotional activity have resulted in a very substantial overhang of forequarter meat in the market. This has triggered a significant reduction in beef prices which is placing enormous pressure on producer and processor margins.”

Sweet deal for local chocolate brand


hoc-O-Bloc, the local company which created and manufacturers the award-winning Magic Choc range, has been acquired by a new business formed by its original founders, Stephen and Karen Lennie, and funded by private investors from the Rust Group. The Newtownards-based business had entered administration after its distributor in England ran into financial difficulties but was saved by the new group of investors keen to capitalise on growing interest in the innovative and unique range of children’s chocolate craft products, including the successful Chocolate Picture Maker.

Risa Gallo celebrates Giro with Risotto Masterclass


o mark the celebration of the Giro d’Italia Big Start in Belfast, Riso Gallo and the brand’s local sales, marketing and distribution representative Robert Roberts teamed up with Coppi Executive Chef Tony O’Neill to host a Risotto Masterclass at The Belfast Cookery School. O’Neill created an exclusive menu for journalists and buyers to sample, with a selection of fine wines from Cono Sur supplied by Woodford Bourne. Riso Gallo Risottos included a Giro Special, Beetroot, Goat’s Cheese and Basil. Tony’s Black Rice, Squid, Fennel Sausage, Cavolo Nero Risotto showcased the Riso Gallo Venere Rice; a wonderful black rice. Primavera Risotto used a range of seasonal greens as well as Smoked Cod and Leek Risotto. Braised Pork Cheek Orozotto used the Riso Gallo 3 Grains. Taking all the attendees by surprise was the Riso Gallo Gluten Free Carbonara. The award-winning pasta was a real hit amongst the tasters.


Winners pictured, from left, include Andrew Farrell, Andrea Grace, Richard Creamer, Cheryl O’Keefe, Eddie O’Neill, Clive Allen (overall winner), Mark Beattie, Conor Feeney and Cathy McGranaghan.

Coca-Cola recognises top sales performers C

oca-Cola HBC Ireland has bestowed awards on its top performing sales people on the island of Ireland, at a ceremony held during the company’s annual Commercial Conference at Dublin’s Croke Park stadium. The coveted overall Grocery and 2014 Sales Person of the Year award was won by Clive Allen from Strabane, who works with grocery customers in the Derry/Londonderry area. “I’m proud and honoured to win this award, especially knowing how many excellent sales people we have throughout the country,” said Allen. “It’s great that as a company Coca-Cola takes time to celebrate the successes of what hard work and effort bring. “It’s especially pleasing to win this award on behalf of the Northern Irish team, which hasn’t been achieved since 2008. I must also pay tribute to the many great customers my colleagues and I have the pleasure of working with every day. There’s never been a more exciting time to be part of the grocery trade in Northern Ireland.”


UFU welcomes launch of the Milk Market Observatory

Pictured at the launch of the European Milk Market Observatory in Brussels are, from left, Camelia Gyorffy, COPACOGECA Policy Adviser; Mansel Raymond, COPA-COGECA dairy chairman; and Chris Osborne, UFU senior dairy policy officer.


he Ulster Farmers’ Union last month welcomed the launch of the European Milk Market Observatory (MMO), by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Ciolo, as a step in the right direction to giving producers upto-date information for informed business decisions. The Commission expects the MMO to act as an early warning system, alerting dairy

stakeholders to a major shock in milk prices (as seen in 2008/09), and mitigate against volatility post-abolition of quota in 2015. Present at the launch, and representing UK dairy farmers, was UFU Senior Policy Officer Chris Osborne who said that, while the MMO is very much still a work in progress, it will go a long way as a monitoring tool to enhancing the decisionmaking process at both EU and local levels.

“Aimed at increasing transparency and providing the most accurate market data the MMO will compile, publish and update a website with the most accurate market data for dairy industry stakeholders,” said Osborne. “This will strengthen the Commission’s capacity to monitor dairy markets as we approach a post-quota policy environment. “The observatory will follow and analyse past and present trends in EU and world dairy markets, production, supply and demand balance and costs of production. The MMO will meet every quarter to analyse the market situation, with the first meeting on May 27. “Northern Ireland is more exposed to dairy commodity volatility compared to the rest of UK, since we export a greater quantity of our product onto EU and global markets. The key message from DG Agri has been that the MMO is to establish a trend analysis for EU dairy markets, not absolute final prices and this mirrors our own Milk Price Indicator (MPI). We strongly believe that we have much to offer the MMO in terms of the UFU MPI template and will make sure that as a devolved region within an EU Member State, we have an effective voice in the Observatory.”

Dale Farm scoops up Fivemiletown cheese brands D

ale Farm has reached agreement to buy the Fivemiletown cheese brands from Glanbia Ingredients Ireland. While cheddar production is to cease at the Fivemiletown Creamery with jobs lost, Dale Farm has reached agreement with the Fivemiletown Coop to take over production of speciality local cheese there, offering security for around 20 jobs. “We are delighted that we will have been able to ensure that the Fivemiletown range of awardwinning cheeses will continue to be produced locally,” said David Dobbin, chief executive of the Dale Farm Group. “Fivemiletown Creamery has a long established tradition of making excellent local speciality cheeses and we intend to maintain production and invest in developing the brand and its local, national and international customer base.” Guy Simpson, of the Fivemiletown Creamery Cooperative, said: “This deal will help maintain local jobs in Fivemiletown and the world renowned Fivemiletown cheese brand. While cheddar cheese activity will still cease in a number of months we are extremely pleased that speciality cheese making activity will be now continuing under Dale Farm at our Creamery; this is great news for our local community.” The announcement was welcomed by Trade Minister Arlene Foster, who said: “Today’s confirmation that Dale Farm is to continue to manufacture award-winning soft cheeses in Fivemiletown is positive news for Clogher Valley, as it will secure 20 jobs at the creamery. “I am of course acutely aware that, under these new arrangements, there will still be redundancies when cheddar cheese production ceases in July and my thoughts are with those affected and their families. “I hope that by further building the internationally recognised Fivemiletown brand, Dale Farm will be able to increase employment opportunities at the creamery in the future.” 20

David Dobbin.


Golden Cow’s £2.5m investment to include 23 new jobs G

olden Cow is providing 23 new jobs in Portadown, with assistance from Invest NI’s Jobs Fund, as part of a £2.5m expansion. The expansion will see the plant, part of the Kerry Group, manufacture two innovative products – LowLow Snack Packs and Matteson’s Chicken Dippers – for major retailers in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. Invest NI has offered the company £100,000 through its Jobs Fund to support the creation of the 23 new jobs. The company currently employs 52 people. “This is an important strategic investment by Kerry Group, which has owned Golden Cow since 2001, in the development of this manufacturing operation in Portadown,” said Brian Dolaghan, director of business and sector development at Invest NI. “The investment, which we are assisting, is a substantial endorsement of this plant and the wider Northern Ireland food sector. “The diversification into snack foods is also significant in that it widens the plant’s portfolio and positions it to bid for further new product opportunities developing from Kerry Group’s longstanding focus on convenience and snack foods for key markets abroad. “Benefits will result for the local economy from additional salaries and wages of £395,000 and from the opportunities for other Northern Ireland companies to supply products and services such as packaging.” Camillus Fitzpatrick, finance manager at Golden Cow, said: “The decision by Kerry Group to manufacture the new LowLow Snacks in particular in Portadown is recognition of our longstanding expertise and success in providing cheddar cheese products very cost effectively to leading UK and Irish retailers over many years. “Invest NI’s Jobs Fund support for the investment and especially to recruit additional staff has been immensely important. We’ve installed a new production facility to manufacture the new snack foods. “Both products have been developed to appeal to two fast moving consumer markets in Britain and the Republic of Ireland that the group has identified. The LowLow product is targeted at consumers, especially women, seeking low fat foods that do not compromise on taste and quality. The Mattesson’s chicken Double Dipper is another convenience snack designed to appeal to a wide consumer audience.”

Pictured are, from left, Brian Dolaghan, director of business and sector development at Invest NI, and Camillus Fitzpatrick, finance manager at Golden Cow.

New ‘feel good’ image for leading healthier cheese L

owLow has long been the number one brand in the healthier cheese category, with over 30% household penetration. In April 2013, LowLow was repositioned to portray a more motivating, relevant ‘feel good’ space, distinctly away from tired diet stereotypes of other healthier brands that paraded clichés of women. In tandem to this, consumer insight defined a clear need to give consumers easy, accessible, healthy solutions to eat well. “We knew that strategic innovation would be key to unlocking growth and driving relevance in the market place, as well as driving category growth,” said Bronagh Clarke, marketing manager for Kerry Foods. “A rigorous insight and development process was put in place to fully understand our target consumers’ point of view. This uncovered a frustration around traditional health brands, and a lack of products meeting needs for great 22

Bronagh Clarke, marketing manager for Kerry Foods.

tasting snacks that are healthy too.” Over 90% of female consumers snack daily, and women consume an average of 421 calories per day on snacks. Eight out of 10 women agree that access to nutritious and convenient foods for lunch and snacks would help them conquer poor eating habits. “Our consumers told us that when they are on the go or at their desk they like a tasty snack

that’s easy and healthy too. But they only snack on cheese at home because the choice of snacking products on the go are aimed at kids,” said Clarke. The development of the LowLow Snack Packs came from months of qualitative, quantitative testing and consumer co-creation. Each Snack Pack is a delicious combination of LowLow mature cheese slices, multigrain toast and a unique relish. Since launching they have made startling progress, gaining 12% penetration amongst the target audience with a strong repeat rate, and adding 83% growth to the adult snacking category. LowLow Snack Packs are supported by a new nationwide TV ad, press, digital and instore campaign. “LowLow Snack Packs are a great success to date, demonstrating that clear consumer insight-led innovation can drive both brand and category sales,” said Clarke.














Dairy Council launches Milk It: Athletics sponsorship T

he Dairy Council for Northern Ireland this month announced it is sponsoring the annual athletics championships organised by the Ulster Secondary Athletics Association (USSAA). “This Milk It: Athletics sponsorship is a natural fit with the range of activities we undertake in post primary schools throughout Northern Ireland,” said Dr Mike Johnston, chief executive of the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland. “Our aim is to use it to highlight the potential role of milk in sports nutrition. Given that the USSAA covers all post primary schools in Northern Ireland, and the championships cover all post primary age groups from age 12 to 18 years, this sponsorship is an opportunity for us to associate milk with athletics. “Milk is a natural source of protein, needed for building and maintaining muscles, and can be an excellent way of rehydrating following exercise.” Stephen Graham, chairman of USSAA, said: “We are grateful to the Dairy Council

Pictured are, from left, Stephen Graham, chairman of the Ulster Secondary Schools Athletics Association with Dr Mike Johnston, chief executive of the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland at the Antrim Forum.

for this sponsorship. These Championships have been part of schools’ athletics in Ulster for many years, and have been the launching pad for many of our athletes who have gone

on to compete internationally. We look forward to an enjoyable and entertaining day at the Finals at Antrim Forum on May 17.”

Golden Cow highlights baking opportunities G

olden Cow recently teamed up with Jenny Bristow to develop buttery Easter recipes for all the family to enjoy, available with special 500g Golden Cow Easispread tubs, as well as releasing findings from a recent survey on baking. More than half of people in Northern Ireland developed their love of baking from a family member, traditionally mum or grandmother, according to a survey commissioned by the butter brand*. Other influences are iconic TV shows such as The Great British Bake Off, according to 14% of respondents, while almost one in five

Pictured with Jenny Bristow are brother and sister Killian and Emily McCandless.


attribute their love of baking and cooking to a ‘needs must’ mentality. Golden Cow conducted the survey to explore the nation’s love of baking and the nostalgia associated with this. Findings revealed that many of us still retain strong childhood memories of baking; more than one in three have fond memories of licking the spoon as a child. Among those surveyed who have children, 59% often take the time to bake with their kids, with a further 39% claiming that they plan to spend more time doing so. More than 70% of parents consider cooking and baking with their children as quality time together, while 45% believe it to be a life skill that should be acquired from a young age. While more than 40% of people in Northern Ireland bake because they love to, one in three believes the true reward to be watching others enjoying their freshly baked goods. “We want to ‘spread the love’ of butter whether it be through baking or cooking this Easter,” said Orlaith Whelan, senior brand manager for Golden Cow. “We were delighted to work with Jenny Bristow and together created some tasty, simply recipes that appeal to everyone, even the novice bakers, with butter as the vital ingredient throughout. There are also some recipes that are ideal for involving the kids, making it a real family occasion.” ‘Spread the Love’ is a campaign from Golden Cow that taps into the nation’s love of butter whether it be spread on a slice of toast, melting over some baby boiled potatoes or baked to make some delicious cakes and buns. *The results in the Golden Cow survey were drawn from independent research that was carried out from April 4-10 among a representative sample of 100 people in Northern Ireland aged 18-45.


Market ingAwards



At the heart of the Northern Ireland food industry


An niv ers ary

Excellence celebrated at Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2014 A

dozen local food businesses and retailers walked away with Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2014 on Friday 9 May, during a glittering gala evening held at the Culloden Hotel to raise funds for grocers’ benevolent fund GroceryAid. Now in its 26th year, this prestigious event was attended by over 400 representatives from the local grocery, food, drink and marketing sectors with £45,000 raised on the night. Winners and highly commended trophies were awarded in each of six categories, presented by Ulster Grocer publisher James Greer, UTV presenter and host for the evening Paul Clark, and Miss Northern Ireland Meagan Green, as well as individual award sponsors. “This year’s awards attracted a record number of entries, with the judges impressed by their quality,” said James Greer. “The Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards are well established and continue to grow in stature year-on-year, with competing businesses recognising the positive contribution winning can make to their reputation and place within the buoyant local agri-food sector. “The grocery trade, and wider agri-food sector, has adapted and survived admirably throughout the economic downturn and entries to the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards reflect a willingness to invest in building brands now that things are looking up again.”

Meagan Green, Claire McCann and Gwen Rafferty (Mackle Pet Foods) and Joanne Curran (AV Browne).

Best Marketing Campaign Sponsored by AV Browne Joanne Curran, marketing director at AV Browne, said: “AV Browne work as branding and marketing partners to companies throughout the local grocery, food and drink sector so we were delighted to sponsor the Best Marketing Campaign category at this year’s Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards. It gave us great pleasure to present Moy Park with a highly commended award and the overall award to Mackle Pet Foods, winner of this hard fought category.” Winner – Mackle Petfoods Mackle Petfoods has demonstrated marketing professionalism. The overriding objective was clearly one of brand awareness but trying to put value behind that. A broad selection of media was used to achieve that end; it’s a wonderful piece of work.

Gwen Rafferty, sales & marketing manager at Mackle Petfoods, said: “Mackle Petfoods was delighted to win the Best 2013 Marketing Campaign at the recent Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards for their flagship brand, Brandy. Brandy was successfully re-launched in 2012, with the key brand message that dogs are not just a pet but an important member of the family and so we only want to feed them the best… Brandy because they’re 100% Family. This marketing strategy was further developed and brought forward into 2013. We endeavoured not only to achieve a short-term impact within the duration of the campaign itself but also to develop a brand message that is fully integrated, sustainable and can continue into the future.”


Sponsored by:

Market ingAwards

40 years At the heart of the Northern Ireland food industry


8 36• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011



Best Marketing Campaign Sponsored by AV Browne Highly commended – Moy Park Moy Park is highly commended for the way in which they undertook a massive awareness campaign of the Moy Park brand. It’s a superb beginning and very much a work in progress; they’ve got a lot to do. Paul McGurk, brand manager of Moy Park, said: “The team at Moy Park is delighted to have been awarded highly commended ‘Best Brand of the Year’. In 2013 we launched our new advertising campaign ‘Hello. We’re the chicken people’, which included our TV ad and new look packaging for all our products. We also launched a new recipe section on our website, so Meagan Green, Paul Burch (Moy Park) and Joanne Curran (AV Browne). consumers can create their own culinary masterpieces at home. Receiving this award is testament to the hard work of the team at Moy Park in developing our brand in recent years. Going forward, we have exciting plans in place for the Moy Park brand throughout the rest of 2014 and beyond.”

Best Brand Sponsored by NIIRTA Winner – Forest Feast Forest Feast has demonstrated yet again the value of good marketing in securing market share, and the extent of penetration of RoI and GB markets underlines their being chosen as brand of the year. Lorraine Hall, sales & marketing director of Kestrel Foods, said: “The Northern Ireland retail grocery trade is abundant with innovative and exciting brands and world class products. That said, we are exceptionally proud that Forest Feast has been named Best Brand at this year’s Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards. Since we launched the brand in 1996, we have worked hard to build a brand with innovation and quality at its core. Our range of over 150 products is now present in 30 markets internationally, including Russia, Hong Kong, Norway, Mongolia, Italy, Poland, Iceland and the Middle East. We were delighted that our success in the area of driving export growth was also recognised by Ulster Grocer.”

James Greer, Meagan Green, Deirdre Burns (Forest Feast) and Nigel Maxwell (NIIRTA).

Best New Product Launch/Relaunch Sponsored by Karro Group

Best Brand Sponsored by NIIRTA Highly commended – Sunblest/Allied Bakeries Ireland Sunblest has set itself an ambitious target to lift its brand image, and has emerged as a preferred brand in the bread market. Elva O’Connor, senior brand manager at Allied Bakeries, said: “We’re over the moon to be highly commended in the Best Brand category with Sunblest. Sunblest has been a Northern Irish favourite since 1956 and we’re delighted it’s still a brand at the top of people’s minds.”

Meagan Green, Elva O’Connor (Allied Bakeries) and Nigel Maxwell (NIIRTA).

8 • •Ulster 3626 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Winner – GM Marketing (Ireland) Ltd GM has articulated the concept behind the Free’ist product launch very professionally and has demonstrated that there is market potential and, further, they have secured admirable distribution. Gerard McAdorey, managing director of Free-ist, said: “It’s been an eventful year, although we have been working hard on bringing the Free’ist brand to market for the past three years. It’s great to see Free’ist products in store and winning this award is a fantastic achievement as we were up against some stiff competition. We look forward to developing the brand further and have some exciting plans ahead.’’

James Greer, Meagan Green, Gerard McAdorey (GM Marketing) and Alastair McQuillan (Karro Group).


Best New Product Launch/Relaunch Sponsored by Karro Group Highly commended – Mash Direct It’s a highly commended professional entry that demonstrates the effect of Mash Direct in positioning potato croquettes in the gluten-free market. Lance Hamilton, sales director of Mash Direct, said: “Mash Direct was delighted to be highly commended for our Potato Croquette range at this year’s Ulster Grocer Awards for Best New Product. Two years in the making, the croquette range provides a fresh alternative in the vegetable accompaniments market and their roaring success since their introduction to the market in April 2013 has been a catalyst for expansion of the factory.” James Greer, Meagan Green, Lance Hamilton (Mash Direct) and Alastair McQuillan (Karro Group).

Best CSR Initiative/Charity Partnership Sponsored by Hunky Dorys Martin McClinton, sales manager of Northern Snack Foods, said: “Northern Snack Foods is delighted to return as sponsor of the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards for a second year, backing the category of Best CSR Initiative/Charity Partnership. The local grocery sector has again demonstrated an admirable commitment and contribution to the communities in which it operates, raising funds and supporting worthy causes.”

James Greer, Meagan Green, Kate Ferguson (MRPNI) and Martin McClinton, (Northern Snack Foods).

Winner – Musgrave Retail Partners Northern Ireland Musgrave’s commitment with Action Cancer to deliver this CSR initiative over several years is paying huge dividends in NI with £2m raised in 2014. The professionalism demonstrated makes them worthy recipients of the award.

Nigel Briggs, managing director of Musgrave Retail Partners, said: “Since 2001, our SuperValu retail partners have supported Action Cancer’s mobile services, and for the past 10 years, our Centra retailers have backed the charity’s health promotion programme for young people – Health Action. SuperValu’s support of Action Cancer’s Big Bus mobile has helped bring life-saving detection services to thousands of people, including 5,000 in 2013. With Centra’s support, Action Cancer has been able to deliver healthy lifestyle messages to almost 500,000 young people at schools across Northern Ireland – 21,000 in 2013. Our strategic focus on health, and particularly cancer prevention, detection and support enshrined in the Action against Cancer Campaign has become a core impetus for management, staff, suppliers and customers – uniting all stakeholders in a common cause.”

Best CSR Initiative/Charity Partnership Sponsored by Hunky Dorys Highly commended – Tesco Northern Ireland Tesco are to be commended for the commitment demonstrated by their staff by staging a range of initiatives that has raised awareness and funding for Diabetes UK. Brendan Guidera, operations director of Tesco Northern Ireland, said: “I’m so pleased to accept this award as it is recognition of the great work of all our colleagues across Northern Ireland to raise money for Diabetes UK. Tesco as a whole has raised £10m for Diabetes UK with our stores in Northern Ireland responsible for a huge proportion of this figure. We are committed to using our scale to do the best by Northern Ireland – not just through our great Tesco service and quality in-store but by improving the lives of everyone in the communities we serve.”


James Greer, Meagan Green, Brendan Guidera (Tesco) and Martin McClinton, (Northern Snack Foods).

Sponsored by:

Market ingAwards

40 years At the heart of the Northern Ireland food industry


8 36• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011



Green Retailer of the Year Sponsored by Power NI Alan Egner, commercial sales and marketing manager for Power NI, said: “Power NI is delighted to again sponsor ‘Green Retailer of the Year’ at this year’s Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards. We would like to congratulate both the winner, Nisa, and highly commended runner up, Henderson Retail, on receiving this award; both showcasing energy excellence in the local retail sector.”

Ken McCracken (Power NI), Meagan Green and Pat Leneghan (Nisa).

Winner – Nisa in partnership with DHL Nisa has demonstrated a broad-based green programme that is impressive and will generate long-term impact to the local environment. It is also evident that multiple initiatives are being undertaken to that end. It is, therefore, a worthy winner of Green Retailer of the Year.

Amanda Jones, CEO of Nisa, said: “Nisa Retail is honoured to achieve the prestigious title of Green Retailer of the Year thanks to its committed investment to deliver sustainable operations. The project focuses on reducing the negative impact on the environment by implementing initiatives such as reducing landfill, carbon emissions, energy and noise in the community. Going forward a five-year plan is in place backed by an established and motivated Go Green team who continue to drive the agenda forward.”

Green Retailer of the Year Sponsored by Power NI Highly commended – Henderson Retail Ltd The Henderson Group has an impressive track record in green management, and their targeting of 100% waste recovery during 2014 underlines their credentials in good green management. Bronagh Luke, corporate marketing controller of the Henderson Group, said: “We at Henderson Retail are delighted to have our Green strategy recognised at the 2014 Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards. Henderson Retail is committed to protecting the environment, in which its stores operate and have done this by working with employees and suppliers to implement several policies and practises that work towards improving the business’ impact on the environment.”

Meagan Green, Ken McCracken (Power NI) and Bronagh Luke (Henderson Retail).

Best Food Export Marketing Award Sponsored by Invest NI Nigel Hardy, head of global food marketing at Invest NI, said: “Glenarm Organic Salmon and Kestrel Foods are excellent role models of ambitious locally-owned companies now growing strongly through a commitment to business in global markets. They are benefiting from taking part in Invest NI’s comprehensive portfolio of export marketing services especially in fast developing markets in the Middle East and Asia.”

Meagan Green, Norman Murray (Glenarm Organic Salmon) and Nigel Hardy (Invest NI).

Winner – Glenarm Organic Salmon Glenarm Organic Salmon has made a global splash in only five years, having identified exports as a strategy for rebuilding the business after its entire stock was lost in a freak jelly fish attack. A strategic decision to supply only to highend customers has proved successful from San Francisco to Singapore.

Norman Murray, commercial director of Glenarm Organic Salmon, said: “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award. Within the last few years we have had to completely rebuild the business and establish a new customer base, following a freak jelly fish attack which wiped out our entire stock of salmon. This award recognises the significant achievement of the business in international markets since sales recommenced; success which reflects the high regard had for quality local produce by consumers right across the world.”

Best Food Export Marketing Award Sponsored by Invest NI Highly commended – Forest Feast Forest Feast saw its international sales rise by 58% last year, with its premium dried fruit and nut products now available in 26 markets worldwide. The business exhibits at international food fairs, and has plans to boost export trade further this year. 8 • •Ulster 3628 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

James Greer, Meagan Green, Ann Woods (Forest Feast) and Nigel Hardy (Invest NI).


GroceryAid prize winner will travel like a ‘king’ thanks to Kingsmill



Pictured are, from left, Peter Henry of Allied Bakeries, prize winner Stephen Murphy, Gillian Barker, director general of GroceryAid and UTV presenter and compere at the awards, Paul Clark.


t this year’s GroceryAid Ulster Grocers’ Gala Ball, local bakery brand Kingsmill put a smile on one lucky winner’s face by giving away a fabulous summer holiday to any destination in the world worth £2,000. All guests at the Gala Ball, held recently in the Culloden Hotel, had the opportunity to enter the draw, sponsored by Kingsmill. “We’re delighted to have been able to support the GroceryAid Gala Ball this year, making not only a lucky holidaymaker happy, but also helping all those who GroceryAid supports,” said Elva O’Connor, senior brand manager at Allied Bakeries.

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he Ulster Grocers’ Ball raised £45,000 in total for GroceryAid, a successful welfare fund which looks after more than 6,500 current and former industry colleagues with the help of leading companies across the whole of the food and drink industry. The 2014 Ulster Grocers’ GroceryAid Ball was celebrated in grand style for a 26th year by 440 guests from all sectors of the food industry, wholesalers, producers and retailers; all in support of the work of GroceryAid. Speakers before dinner included GroceryAid Director General Gillian Barker, GroceryAid NI Fundraising Committee Chairman Cliff Kells, who welcomed guests and thanked main sponsors Allied Bakeries, Coca-Cola Hellenic, Henderson Group, Kerry Foods, SHS and Tesco for their generous donations, and Ulster Grocer for its involvement in the Marketing Awards. A sumptuous six-course dinner was followed by a ballot conducted professionally by Richard Livingston and comedic and musical entertainment. And to top it all off, guests again took home a jam-packed hamper.



Brandy... 100% Irish meat... 100% family B

randy has a strong local heritage dating back to 1972. Brandy is made using only 100% Irish meat sourced from across the island of Ireland. The use of 100% Irish meat is unique to the brand. Brandy is also fully traceable from farm to can. Irish consumers are concerned about the provenance and quality of the product they feed their dogs with, and they have really embraced the fact that Brandy uses only 100% Irish meat and has full traceability. Dog owners view their dog as a key member of the family so they want to feed them the best. Consumers are also looking for value and Brandy offers customers high quality products at a value price. Since its hugely successful re-launch, Brandy has grown from strength to strength and continues to remain the number one Irishmade dog food brand and the second largest branded dog food in the Irish market.

Following on from the hugely successful launch of Brandy Variety Chunks in Jelly, Brandy has just launched a new Variety Chunks in Jelly 12 Pack, which is available to order now. This new Brandy Chunks in Jelly 12 Pack will complement the current Brandy Variety Loaf 12 Pack. This new Chunks in Jelly 12 Pack is a mixed-poultry selection and is available in four tasty varieties: Chicken, Chicken & Duck, Chicken & Turkey and Duck & Turkey.

This summer, Brandy 6 Packs presents an exciting new promotional on-pack offer; not to be missed by retailers and customers alike. While your dog enjoys its Brandy dinner, by collecting two tokens from our promotional Brandy 6 Pack range (Loaf, Chunks in Jelly, Chunks in Gravy), customers can collect a cute Brandy Cuddly Toy for themselves. This promotion runs on pack throughout the summer and will be supported by an all-Ireland radio advertising campaign and a strong digital campaign. Throughout 2014, Brandy will continue to be supported by strong promotional activity and an extensive advertising campaign. Visit brandydogfood

Brandy has grown from strength to strength and continues to remain the number one Irish-made dog food brand.” From left, former Miss Northern Ireland Meagan Green is pictured with Claire McCann and Gwen Rafferty of Mackle Pet Foods – winners of the Best Marketing Campaign – and Joanne Curran, marketing director of main Awards sponsor AV Browne.









Our new cuddly toy promotion is sure to get sales growing. All your customer has to do is collect 2 tokens from Brandy Traditional Loaf, Chunks in Jelly and Chunks in Gravy promotional 6 Packs then claim their Cuddly Brandy Toy - easy! Your sales go up, your customer goes ‘aww, look at it’s little face!’ Contact NI: 028 87784641 ROI: 048 87784641 /brandydogfood

4964 Brandy_Ulster_Grocer_210x297.indd 1

Because they’re 100% family

20/05/2014 14:35


Social Scene – Ulster Grocers’ Ball 2


1. The Grocery Aid Ball committee at their annual Gala Ball. Back, (L-R): Mark Gowdy, Jonathan Verner, David Neill and James Greer. Front, (L-R): Gerry Cassidy (chairman of the Grocery Ball) and Cliff Kells (chairman of Grocery Aid NI).


2. Back row, (L-R): Clive Kerrigan, Gerry Cassidy, Eugene Wallace and Alastair Campbell. Front, (L-R): Sarah Kerrigan, Deirdre Wallace and Elva O’Connor. 3. Gillian Barker, Director General, GroceryAid. 4. Cliff Kells addresses the audience. 5. (L-R): Jacqueline Allen, May Philips, Denise Martin, Eimear Denny and Zoe Hawthorn of Richmond Marketing.


6. (L-R): Chris McDowell, Nikki McDowell, Donna Morrison and Gary Morrison of Musgrave Retail Partners.


7. (L-R): Ian Blemings, Gareth Devlin and Ross Maxwell of Coca-Cola. 8. (L-R): Steve Jordan, Julie Jordan, Joanna Nelson and Gareth Cushley of Mackle Pet Foods. 9. (L-R): Anne and Peter Henry from Allied Bakeries with Neil and Claire Kelly of the Henderson Group. 10. (L-R): Neil and Lisa Lawden of Holywood Partnership with Colin and Cara Ferguson of Avondale Foods. 11. (L-R): Mervyn Jones and Jill Berry with Suzanna Hassard and Keith Hassard of Asda.


6 8 • •Ulster 3632 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011





8 36• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011







12. Moy Park at the Gala Ball. Front, (L-R): Aidan Fisher, Paul Grouch, Stephen Colgan and Neill McMullan. Front, (L-R): Fiona Fisher, Emma Colgan, Leanne McMullan and Lorraine Birch. 13. Gillian Moore of Hovis (left) with Helen Lawlor and Ciara Maginn of Stafford Lynch. 14. David Bradshaw of Courtney & Nelson with his wife Linda and daughter Victoria. 15. (L-R): Karen Douglas, Claire McCann and Stephanie Magowan of Mackle Pet Foods. 16. Aidan and Fiona Fisher of Moy Park. 17. Stephen and Donna Mullan of Spar Armagh. 18. David and Debbie McAllister of Karro Food Group. 19. Bernie Haughian and Liesa Johnston from Cuisine de France.


20. David McEwan and Margaret McCune from PRM Distributors Ltd.

19 20

18 8 • •Ulster 3634 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

food safety & security

Protecting your business from legal liability Maria O’Loan, director at Cleaver Fulton Rankin, offers advice to retailers and the wider food and drinks sector on ensuring their produce is safe and secure. Do you know what is in the food you are selling? This might sound like a simple question but many high street names and global brands such as Tesco, Ikea and Burger King have been hit by the horse meat scandal, highlighting that many businesses can’t answer this simple question. Furthermore, recent Food Standards Agency testing has found that many restaurants have been fraudulently passing off cheaper meats. For some businesses, this has been a deliberate act of fraud for financial gain whilst, for others, they themselves have been the victims of food fraud from their suppliers. Food fraud is committed when food is deliberately placed on the market, for financial gain, with the intention of deceiving the consumer. Although there are many kinds of food fraud, the two main types are: the sale of food which is unfit and potentially harmful, and the deliberate mis-description of food. It is important that you take steps to protect your business against food fraud. The reputational consequences and loss of consumer confidence can be disastrous, not to mention the possibility of legal action and criminal prosecution. It can be difficult for the small retailer to have a testing programme in place, but it can have appropriate supply contracts to protect itself against any legal liabilities arising out of the supply of fraudulently-labelled foodstuffs. The recent scandals and the associated legal actions which have arisen as a result demonstrate the inadequacies of many contractual arrangements. With the appropriate contractual protections in place, it is possible to protect against most legal liabilities that may arise. Retailers should also have in place a clear recall plan and have developed a communication strategy before an incident arises. Lastly, it may be possible to obtain insurance cover to address the risks.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s Agri Food Team; cultivating growth through legal excellence For further information contact Maria O’Loan 028 9024 3141

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NI takes leading role in food security W

orking closely with local food producers to ensure Northern Ireland remains a leader in the production of high quality, authentic and traceable food which is among the safest in the world is the mandate for the Institute for Global Food Security. Launched in March 2013 in the wake of the horsemeat scandal, the Institute is based at Queen’s University Belfast within the School of Biological Sciences. While its activities extend to involvement in the FoodNI Artisan Market showcasing home-grown food from Broughgammon Farm to Broighter Gold, research conducted at the Institute is globally driven. The Institute houses a suite of state-ofthe-art laboratories, conducting cutting edge research into various topics ranging from soil and plant health through to food security. Since the inception of the UK’s first Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use in 2006, the work of the Institute has become internationally-recognised for its excellence in research and teaching. Over time the Institute has focused even more intently on its core founding principles, resulting in rebranding to become the Institute for Global Food Security. The Institute for Global Food Security will be a key partner in national and global efforts to provide the world’s growing population with a sustainable, safe and secure supply of high quality food. Acknowledging the impact of the work of the Institute, the University has committed more that £33m to support, nurture and promote its growth. The investment includes: • New purpose-built teaching and research facilities for the Institute for Global Food Security, within the new £28m Biological Sciences building; • Appointment of leading global food security researchers; • New and extended postgraduate and undergraduate programmes to meet local and international demand; • Providing a dedicated site at Queen’s for food industry partners to be based. Prof Chris Elliott, director of the Institute, heads up an international team of world renowned experts, focusing on a number of major research themes including Food Safety and Food Integrity, Human nutrition and Health, Animal Health and Welfare, 8 • •Ulster 3636 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Pictured at the FoodNI Artisan Market at Queen’s University last month are, from left, Queen’s University Pro-ViceChancellor Professor James McElnay, Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill, Safefood Director of Food Science Dr Gary Kearney and Institute for Global Food Security Director Professor Chris Elliott.

Climate Change and the Economics of Food Security. Researchers, working across scientific disciplines, will track and prevent chemical and microbiological contamination of crops, animal feeds and foods. They will help detect fraud along the supply chain and will develop advanced food provenance systems. They will help to improve the quality of crops, the health and quality of farm animals and their resistance to disease.

Projects underway at the Institute A Solution to Global Swine Disease Prof Gordon Allan (Queen’s University Belfast) was appointed in 2011 as the ‘World Leading Expert’ Professor of Porcine Virology. He is responsible for developing a vaccine that eradicated a wasting disease in pigs. The disease, PCV2, was extremely virulent and spread rapidly across the globe during the ‘noughties’; the cost to farming globally was immense. The developed vaccine and diagnostics for PCV2 are now sold world-wide. The vaccine is regarded as probably the most efficient ever produced and so successful that pigs no longer get the disease. The PCV2 vaccine is the biggest-selling veterinary vaccine in the world, generating around $400m annually. Prof Allen has the foresight to recognise that another swine disease could well be lurking around the corner. He is not complacent and continues to work with his extensive network of scientific experts in

scanning the horizon for the next PCV. Safeguarding the World’s Food Supply Prof Chris Elliott is the forefront of a programme of research of benefit locally but also of significant importance on a global scale. He spearheads a major initiative to develop techniques to safeguard the food supply. With colleagues at Queen’s University Belfast, and partners across the globe, he is undertaking cutting edge research to develop early warning techniques to detect food contamination issues. Contamination of our food, both by natural causes and through adulteration, can have catastrophic effects as is borne out by serious incidents within the last few years, such as the dreadful E. coli case in Germany during 2011 where thousands of people fell ill and 35 lost their lives as a result of eating contaminated bean sprouts and the dioxin crisis in Ireland (2009) where all Irish pork across the world as removed from sale; with the pork sector worth in excess of $400m per year, the cost of the recall to the economy was substantial. Constant monitoring and rapid action is required to prevent incidents such as these happening again. Prof Elliott’s team are developing simple, effective techniques that can be used at the earliest point of entry to the food supply chain to prevent these incidents reoccurring. But, with changes in climate and the need to produce vast quantities of food for the ever increasing world population, he is ever vigilant for new as yet unknown emerging contaminants.

food safety & security

Fundamental changes needed across Irish supply chain

by amy conway of grant thornton


rant Thornton’s ‘Food 4.0 The Dynamics of Supply and Demand’, pointed at the need for the Irish food and beverage (F&B) sector to re-examine its supply chain, and the imbalances within it. At Grant Thornton, we believe the definition of sustainability goes beyond the ‘greenness’ of food production, to include the equally important need to share the financial reward for effort and risk across all participants in the sector. Achieving sustainability will involve fundamental changes in productivity, smart innovation, pricing transparency, co-operation and alignment across the Irish food supply chain. Often it takes a scandal, rather than a positive news story, to bring about a debate on the need for change. While the scandal has shifted from an Irish centric issue to an EU-wide one, the Irish beef and the wider food industry model, is, without doubt, under the spotlight. ‘Horsegate’ has pushed the issue of sustainability and security of supply chain firmly on the agenda of Irish industry leaders, the government and consumers alike. The EUwide nature of the scandal has led officials and experts from 27 member states to formally approve an EU Commission proposal to test thousands of beef products and samples from slaughterhouses for horsemeat.

The current food business model is broken. The pressure on farmers and processors to squeeze margins often results in cost-cutting measures and mistakes being made – the horsemeat scandal is a by-product of such pressure. The pain is more severe at certain points along the chain. An integrated, aligned and resilient supply chain offers greater certainty and reward where: • there are collaborative relationships in place at all stages of the value chain; • a deep understanding of each other’s needs; • efficiencies generated; • costs taken out; and • ultimately volume and profit creation. The end of cheap food has been signaled for some time. Food prices remain volatile, yet the price paid by consumers still remains low. Globally, adverse weather conditions over the last number of years has seen food prices spike in both 2008-2009 and 2012-13. The horsemeat scandal demonstrates the failures of the current food business model and has encouraged positive dialogue on passing a ‘fair value’ price onto the consumer, with retailers reducing their margins to reflect the ‘true cost’ of production. Consumers are

now beginning to realise that they must pay sustainable prices, to ensure both safety and security in the food they eat. In spite of the safety scandal there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about the Irish F&B sector and its growth potential. According to Grant Thornton’s ‘Smart Money in Food & Beverage: Tracking growth in turbulent times’, M&A activity in the F&B sector rose 32% to £597m in 2013, driven by a surge in deal activity between the US and Ireland. Given the perceived value of Irish brands to outside investors and with Ireland still building its F&B reputation in emerging markets such as Asia, it’s now more important than ever that Ireland’s reputation at the cutting edge of food industry best practice and innovation is reinforced. Food exports to Asia rose by 25% in 2012, with Ireland only still scratching the surface of the potential for Irish food companies in the giant Chinese market.

Allergens legislation is coming: are you prepared?


id you know that as of December 13, food labels on processed foods and labelling of loose foods must stipulate all allergens contained in products? Contravention could lead to a large fine so it’s essential that all food establishments prepare for the changes before they come into effect. For restaurants, cafes, takeaways, pubs and hotels, allergen labelling can be a costly exercise. Therefore Rhonda Montgomery of Montgomery Food Consulting has created an ‘Allergens Workshop’ which will give delegates all of the tools to enable them to produce allergen labels for their businesses. Beginning on Monday, May 19 and running every Monday and Tuesday throughout the summer until the end of September, the training courses are being held both during the day and in the evenings to accommodate delegates. Rhonda Montgomery, director of Montgomery Food Consulting, explains: “We have just moved into state-of-the-art new premises in Aughnacloy, and have a dedicated training room for food and nutritional training. The demand for allergens training has been increasing significantly as the deadline of December 13 gets closer; therefore we decided to create workshops that will deliver cost effective training to a greater number of businesses. “The courses really do deliver value as businesses aren’t paying for one-to-one consultancy. The benefit of an Allergens Workshop is that we impart our knowledge to delegates, who can then take the training and the tools provided back to their place of work and implement the allergens advice provided.” For more information or to book online for the Allergens Workshops, please visit

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SPAR names its top NI suppliers S

PAR has highlighted its focus on sourcing the best fresh locally-produced food by holding a celebration event for its top suppliers at the Balmoral Show. The Henderson Group, owners of the SPAR franchise in Northern Ireland and a platinum sponsor of the show, held the SPAR Local Suppliers’ Awards to mark the excellent produce, practices and ranges of the companies it works with. The Best Local Supplier Award went to Ballyclare company Fred C Robinson, a supplier of branded and own-label pork products to the Henderson Group for almost 25 years. It supplies SPAR stores with 100% locally sourced pork and has taken ownership of the SPAR label pork category over the last 12 months. Fred C Robinson has been heavily involved in new product development for SPAR which has resulted in innovative weekend roasts and Christmas ranges. Newry-based Around Noon was named the supplier of the Best New SPAR Range. The company has developed and launched an exclusive range of SPAR- and Streat-branded sandwiches and wraps for the Henderson Group. A core range of sandwiches, wraps and salads was launched in 2013 followed up by a Christmas sandwich and further extension to the range. Around Noon now supplies 30 lines to all Henderson-owned stores with business continuing to grow on a weekly basis. K&G McAtamney was the winner of the Tomorrow Matters award, named after the Henderson Group’s own CSR strategy – focused on People, Planet and Place – for the company which gives back to its own community, the environment and/or

Pictured are, from left, Gordon McAtamney (K&G McAtamney), Alvin Donaghy (Fred C Robinson), Neal Kelly (Henderson Group) and David Graham (Around Noon).

encourages team development. It supplies SPAR exclusively with a range of tray-packed, ready-to-cook beef, lamb, pork and poultry. Last year saw McAtamney move into a purpose built, state-of-the-art 18,000 square foot factory in Ballymena with a full heat recovery system and Biomass boiler. The workforce has doubled to almost 70 and with volumes being supplied to the Henderson Group increasing, job creation is expected to continue. “The three categories in which we shortlisted represent what is most important to us as a business – giving our shoppers excellent ranges to choose from, sourcing locally-produced traceable food and of course CSR,” said Neal Kelly, fresh food director of the Henderson Group. “We feel we have

three very worthy winners and importantly, companies which reflect our values.” Finalists in the awards also included Rockvale Poultry in Richhill for Best New SPAR Range, Willowbrook Foods in Killinchy in the Tomorrow Matters category and Lurgan-based Boconnell Mushrooms and Kelly Flowers in Lisburn for Best Local Supplier. Fresh food now accounts for over one third of the total annual sales for Henderson Group retail brands. The fresh food division is seeking to increase this figure significantly through focusing on further improving its local fresh ranges, including its sandwich and meat ranges. Over 75% of the Henderson Group’s fresh offering is sourced from the island of Ireland.

Exhibiting at Balmoral 2014 BELOW: Helen Troughton of Armagh Cider.

BELOW: Lindsay Curran and Michele Shirlow of Food NI.

ABOVE: James Mimnaugh and Ian Stevenson of the Livestock & Meat Commission of Northern Ireland.



M&S awards Farming for the Future L

ocal producers for Marks & Spencer have been rewarded for their excellence in environmental sustainability, animal health and welfare at an M&S ‘Farming for the Future’ Award presentation during the Balmoral Show. Open to M&S local and international producers, the awards celebrate the important role played by suppliers in working towards M&S commitments, which include becoming carbon neutral, sending no waste to landfill, extending sustainable sourcing, setting new standards in ethical trading and helping customers and employees live a healthier lifestyle. M&S, a Platinum sponsor, used this year’s Balmoral Show to showcase its commitment to wildlife conservation and animal welfare. “At M&S we work with all of our growers to ensure that wildlife conservation is integrated into our farming practices,” said Steve McLean, head of agriculture at M&S. “Currently there is no agricultural policy which covers the specific protection of pollinators; however we do all we can to ensure quality and goodness in food from field to fork. “We firmly believe that the better the standards of animal welfare, the better the quality of the end product, which is why we are committed to high standards of animal welfare and only work with farmers and suppliers who share this commitment.” Focusing on key initiatives such as bee hotels, beetle banks and hedgerow habitats, the M&S stand included interactive activity for children, while also highlighting its awards for animal welfare standards from the RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming and environmental and farming partnerships such as Forever Fish and Butterfly Conservation. As well as showcasing its suppliers, activity on the M&S stand included live chef demonstrations and sampling, while the retailer sponsored a selection of the beef livestock classes in partnership with its local meat supplier Linden Foods. Northern Ireland is a major supply region for the M&S food business with beef, pork, venison, chicken, turkey, potatoes, bread and eggs produced not only for Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland stores, but also for many stores across the UK. An installation on the stand also brought to life the achievement of last year’s local Farming for the Future Award winner, Graham McIlroy from Coleraine.

Award winners included, from left, Crosby Cleland, Saintfield (Livestock); Jarleth Kingston, Co. Dublin (runner-up, Produce); Peadar McGee, Co. Monaghan (Produce); David Irwin, Coleraine (runner-up, Livestock); and Stephen Graham, Fermanagh (Young Producer).

Steve McLean, head of agriculture at M&S.

BELOW: Giro d’Italia-themed Nutty Krust packaging on the Irwin’s stand.

ABOVE: Chefs Paula McIntyre and Joery Castel in the Signature Kitchen at Balmoral.

ABOVE: The Mash Direct stand proved popular at Balmoral 2014.



Ulster Bank pledges agri-food support at pre-Balmoral Show event U

lster Bank has stated it is strongly committed to helping Northern Ireland’s agri-food sector grow, create new jobs, and increase sales outside of Northern Ireland. Speaking at a briefing event for the Guild of Agricultural Journalists and other media, Ulster Bank’s Head of Northern Ireland and Managing Director of SME Banking, Ellvena Graham, said the bank is actively supporting its customers to develop the sector. Also at the event in the bank’s Belfast headquarters were Corporate Banking Division Director Ian Jordan, Chief Economist Northern Ireland Richard Ramsey and Senior Agriculture Manager Cormac McKervey. Graham spoke about Ulster Bank’s support for the agri-food sector and the importance of access to finance as a key driver of the industry’s future success. She said: “Ulster Bank has £1bn available to lend to businesses this year, and agri-food is a really high priority for us. Ulster Bank is already a major lender across the agri-food sector and we are strongly committed to further growing our involvement in and support for the industry. We have a wide variety of support available through our dedicated schemes such as Funding for Lending, through which we’ve made over £150m available to almost 1,300 businesses; many of which operate in the agri-sector.” The event was organised as part of the build up to Ulster Bank’s sixth year of principal sponsorship of the Balmoral Show. It included a presentation by Cormac McKervey on the performance and outlook for farming businesses, and an economic overview by Richard Ramsey. Ramsey said: “The agri-food sector is already a major employer, with about 20% of private sector employment according to one estimate,

Pictured are, from left, Ulster Bank Head of Northern Ireland Ellvena Graham, Chief Economist Northern Ireland Richard Ramsey, Senior Agriculture Manager Cormac McKervey, and Corporate Banking Division Director Ian Jordan.

and our largest exporter. The Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing sector for instance accounts for 25% (16,820) of Northern Ireland businesses, compared with a figure of 6.6% for the UK. And there is, no doubt, significant potential for agri-food sector growth, based on the anticipated growth in British and global demand for food.”

Broughgammon recognised at Countryside Alliance Awards B

roughgammon Farm, a local producer of goat kids’ meat (Cabrito), has been recognised in the prestigious Countryside Alliance Awards. The small company, which operates from a family-owned farm at Ballycastle in Co. Antrim, has been named Irish Champion in the awards for its enterprise in developing the market for goats’ meat developed from its own 300-strong herd. Broughgammon Farm is run by two brothers, Charlie and Sandy Cole, on a 48acre farm on the North Antrim coast. They also harvest and process seaweed for sale to cosmetic and food companies as an ingredient. The Awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of rural produce and enterprise, and Broughgammon Farm will now go forward to the UK and Ireland final. The decision to focus on goat kids’ meat was taken by the brothers, both in their 20s, following extensive market research to find a way to develop a sustainable business. They have grown the goat herd from 30 40

to 300 over the past two years and now sell meat through markets and other outlets. They are also rearing Holstein bull calves for veal, as well as harvesting seven different types of seaweed from the shore near the farm. “The Cole brothers have demonstrated the vigour and innovative thinking to improve their business while at the same time proving to be a valuable asset to the local community,” said Lyall Plant, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance of Ireland. “There is no doubt that Broughgammon Farm will go from strength to strength as the business continues to grow and develop and this, in turn, will only enhance the local community and economy.” The company has developed a range of value-added products, including a cabrito burrito. The hand-reared goat kids are raised on a mixed diet of milk, haylage and cereals. The result is a delicately-flavoured meat, which is lean, tender, low in cholesterol and a sweeter alternative to lamb.


Hannan Meats’ aged beef secures Fortnum & Mason listing


lenarm Shorthorn beef aged in Hannan Meats’ unique Himalayan salt chamber in Moira, has won endorsement from the iconic Fortnum & Mason store in London. Andrew Cavanna, head of fresh food and hospitality for the Piccadilly store, said Fortnum & Mason was attracted by the “sheer quality of the beef, its texture, taste and flavour. I’ve been buying meat for 25 years and have never tasted beef as exceptional as this.” The retailer has an exclusive contract for the multi award-winning NI beef from animals raised on the Glenarm estate in Co. Antrim and then dry-aged by Hannan Meats in the world’s biggest Himalayan salt chamber. The endorsement is a massive boost for the quality and outstanding taste of the premium Northern Irish beef. “Our meat business has quadrupled since

the introduction of the salt-aged beef, and we have become a real destination for Londoners to buy the best beef that we’ve ever sold,” said Cavanna. Other NI produce stocked by Fortnum & Mason includes Abernethy Butter, produced in Co. Down.

“We’re always looking to expand and develop our food offering,” said Cavanna. “We want to bring new products and propositions to our customers, particularly in the fresh arena. “The litmus test of any good food retailer is the quality of their fresh food offer and this is what we plan to build on. Our aim is to cement our position as bona fide experts in our field, featuring products of incredible quality, intriguing story-telling, robust sourcing from suppliers with a strong social responsibility programme that respects tradition, the environment and their impact on the environment alongside full traceability and provenance. “If a company has a product that they are absolutely passionate about they should let us know about it. Send a sample in and follow up, follow up, follow up.”

Portaferry granola manufacturer secures Middle East business T

rade Minister Arlene Foster and Finance Minister Simon Hamilton recently visited Just Live a Little to congratulate the local food company on a successful first year in business. The Portaferry-based business, which specialises in granola breakfast cereals, began trading in April 2013 and since then has developed a strong consumer base, with its products now distributed across a range of outletin Trade Minister Arlene Foster and Finance Minister Simon Hamilton are Northern Ireland, GB and pictured with Just Live a Little’s David and Jill Crawford during a visit to the Portaferry-based business. Hong Kong, while also available online. It is run by husband and wife team David and Jill Crawford. “This has been a tremendous first year of business for Just Live a Little, with its expansion into both local and international markets,” said Foster. “Food is a dynamic and progressive industry and our companies here in Northern Ireland have a strong record of success in terms of products being recognised for the outstanding quality that retailers, foodservice organisations and consumers are seeking. “The achievements of Just Live a Little to date highlight how small businesses are increasingly catching the eye of major retailers.” Just Live a Little has developed a number of new products, including granola bars and new recipe granolas available in a wide range of retail outlets. In addition, the company has recently secured its first business in the United Arab Emirates and will supply the Dubai-based retailer the Al Maya Group with a range of products. Al Maya has listed its branded crunchy original, apple and cinnamon, and cranberry, coconut and cashew, as well as the recently launched oatyberry and cranberry breakfast granolas and the new children’s breakfast cereals. The business follows a pitch to a team of buyers from Al Maya during a recent visit to Belfast, hosted by Invest NI. Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said: “Just Live a Little is a great example of a local Ards company which has grown swiftly after their granola emerged as a commercial winner. This company can be held up as an excellent example of the success which can be achieved.”

Avondale Food scores first Continental business


vondale Foods, a local company processing salads, soups, bread snacks and sauces, has won its first business on the Continent with a deal to supply supermarkets in the Netherlands. The Lurgan-based business is supplying chilled 250g pack garlic butter-filled dough balls to HEMA in Amsterdam, a leading discount retailer. “We started exploring opportunities in the Netherlands in September as part of a strategic decision to explore business opportunities in Europe,” said Philip Conway, head of sales at Avondale. “What we aimed to do was to build on the success that we are enjoying in the UK and Ireland for our product range by developing a strong base in Europe; particularly the Netherlands, which is a market with a longstanding awareness of the quality and originality of UK food and drink and is also an ideal springboard to neighbouring regions such as Belgium, Germany and Denmark.”



Robert Roberts launches convenient coffee capsules T

hanks to Northern Ireland’s booming coffee culture, we all have our coffee of choice, from americanos and extra shot lattes, to skinny cappuccinos, espressos and everything in-between. Due to the nation’s more sophisticated coffee tastes, ‘at home’ coffee drinking has become much more diverse. Coffee devotees are increasingly moving away from instant coffee in search of a coffee solution that matches the quality of coffee they are used to and marries it with convenience and ease-ofuse for enjoyment at home. Over the last few years, more and more coffee-loving homes in Northern Ireland have moved towards capsule machines and now, customer demand for easily accessible, affordable and great tasting coffee pods has been met. Robert Roberts – one of Ireland’s oldest coffee and tea companies – is the first Irish company to launch its very own roastground coffee capsules; great news for coffee enthusiasts who will be able to purchase the 10-capsule boxes. Compatible with all Nespresso home machines*, Robert Roberts’ coffee capsules are available in three different intensities – 7, 9 and 10.


• Robert Roberts’ Intensity 7 coffee capsules make the perfect morning coffee. 100% Arabica, the coffee is smooth, sweet and soft with a well-balanced acidity. • Intensity 9 capsules deliver a mediumbodied coffee with a smooth profile and finish. This nutty coffee with unsweetened chocolate notes is a great choice for an afternoon boost. • Finally, there’s the intense dark roasted coffee: Intensity 10. Roasted in the southern Italian style, it makes a great espresso and also works well with milk; it is perfect for lovers of strong coffee. Robert Roberts has worked hard to ensure quality and consistency in each and every

coffee pod. Importantly, the range of capsules will offer choice to customers with compatible machines and they’re available across Northern Ireland, making ‘at home’ quality, fresh coffee drinking so much more accessible. Robert Roberts coffee capsules come in a box of ten capsules, and are available now from Tesco Northern Ireland and selected Eurospar and Spar stores from the end of May. See for further information. *Please note these capsules are not compatible with the Nespresso range of office machines.


Evian: official water of Wimbledon 2014 E

vian will once again be keeping players hydrated this summer when it resumes its role as Official Water of The Championships, Wimbledon. Over the last few years, evian has served up plenty of surprises for tennis fans, ranging from the infamous ‘Wimbledon wiggle’ Internet craze to a pop-up evian experience to entertain fans in the famous queue. evian has also become well-established as the voice of the off-court action. In 2014, evian plans to inject even more live young fun into the tournament. Plans are top secret but are sure to delight tennis and fashion fans alike.

• A 360-degree marketing campaign designed to dominate social media, PR and above the line in the run-up to The Championships. The Championships, Wimbledon: June 23 to July 6.

The campaign will also include: • An above the line Baby and Me ad campaign featuring Maria Sharapova alongside her ‘baby self’. • A dedicated off-court action microsite on featuring the latest gossip, photos and exclusive videos. • Specialist in-store activations in a number of leading stores.

For further details contact Robert Roberts (NI) Ltd. 028 9267 3316 or

8 36• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011


tobacco NEWS

JTI launches limited edition designs for Camel NEW DIRECTIVE WILL BAN 40% OF UK TOBACCO TRADE



TI is launching three limited edition pack designs for its premium cigarette brand Camel, available throughout June and July on the King Size 20s packs only. The limited edition packs deliver a modern look, with three new art-inspired designs – Arches, Steps and Boardwalk – on the Camel logo and also on the curved edges of the packs. “Camel offers retailers the opportunity to make generous profit margins and, with the premium segment accounting for almost 19.9%[1] of the RMC tobacco market, these three limited-edition Camel packs are a must-stock for tobacco retailers,” said Jeremy Blackburn, head of communications at JTI. “With over 100 years of heritage, Camel is one of JTI’s most creative brands and has inspired innovations throughout its history, most recently with the world’s first and only curve pack in 2012.” Camel currently sells almost 6 million packs every year, and generated £39.1 m[2] in retail sales value last year. [1] Nielsen Market Track Feb YTD 2014. [2] Nielsen Market Track 2013.

TI has criticised the finalised EC Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which the supplier says will boost the criminal market by banning 40% of current legitimate sales in the UK. “These regulations, that have been supported by the UK government, are wide-ranging and restrict the way products are made, packaged and sold,” said Daniel Torras, managing director of JTI UK. “They will have a huge impact on thousands of legitimate businesses across the UK. Given the very short timelines and costly changes required, clarity must now be given on the multiple measures contained in the TPD and subsequent implementation and delegated acts. “The EU’s decision to ban 10s, menthol and pouches of tobacco under 30 grams is a gift for criminal gangs as more smokers who find that their preferred pack is no longer available will be tempted to buy illegal tobacco. Meanwhile the UK government’s exchequer will have to plug the financial gap left and thousands of legitimate businesses will suffer.” In the UK over 40% of current tobacco sales will be banned by the new directive, creating a massive disruption to the market, said JTI.

GroceryAid Golf Day T

he annual GroceryAid/Sweet Charity Golf Day takes place on Thursday 7th August, organised by David McWilliams and his team on behalf of the food industry charity. “The event is now bigger and better than ever,” he said, “and offers a great opportunity to network with the trade, entertain your customers or bring a few friends along and play the amazing Belvoir Park course.” The golf will be a Stableford competition with prizes for the best teams. There will also be individual prizes across four categories – manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer and visitor. The cost of a 4-ball which includes a goody bag, prizes and evening meal, followed by entertainment is £300 + £50 (hole sponsorship). “We would welcome the donation of prizes so that as many people as possible go home as winners,” said David. “Individual players and additional guests for the evening meal are also welcome.” Contact David McWilliams on 028 9068 2066 for additional information. 44


FTA highlights importance of air freight T

he significance of air freight is overlooked, according to the FTA’s Sky-high value – The importance of air freight to the UK economy report published earlier this year. The FTA-commissioned document outlines the importance of air freight to the UK economy and why continued investment in airport capacity is essential to its growth and success. “It is imperative that the UK has a single air freight hub,” said Chris Welsh, director – global and European policy at FTA. “Heathrow fulfils that role and is an essential hub of connectivity for passengers and freight, bringing together huge resource, expertise and opportunity in one place.” The report reflects that air freight is not only the safest and most secure form of freight transport but for some companies it is also the most costeffective.

8 36• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Safe Loading Pass Scheme created for fuel


he UK Petroleum Industry Association, with support and scheme management from the Tank Storage Association, signed an agreement with the Freight Transport Association earlier this year to launch a revised Safe Loading Pass Scheme.

The Scheme provides a means to control the risks associated with loading road tankers at fuel distribution terminals, with the update – to be launched this autumn – expected to reflect changes to the industry and be adopted more widely by downstream oil distribution terminals.

FTA calls for greater use of biomethane in hgvs


TA is urging the Government to act on recommendations from the Department for Transport’s Low Emission hgv Task Force to increase the use of biomethane in hgvs, taking the utilisation of gas in the freight industry from small scale to mainstream use. The move towards gas-powered hgvs with either liquefied natural gas or compressed natural gas and ultimately biomethane will ensure that the freight sector can contribute to national Government carbon reduction targets while delivering essential goods and services, according to FTA.

FTA Ireland applauds ILT Award winners


he Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) has congratulated the winners of the Irish Logistics and Transport Awards, which included several of its members. The 2014 ILT Awards attracted over 450 freight and logistics representatives from across Ireland, and celebrated the best in the industry. There were 18 categories in the

Awards which received over 100 entries. “The quality of the entries was higher this year than ever before, and reflected the huge efforts of the teams involved,” said Neil McDonnell, general manager of FTA Ireland. “It was also great to see DHL Global Forwarding scoop the overall Logistics and Transport Excellence Award 2014.”



NI Chamber launches annual Awards N

orthern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry has officially launched its 11th annual Chamber Awards, inviting businesses to showcase their talents and achievements through a series of regional heats, culminating in a national final in London. Local businesses from all sectors can enter nine categories: Small Business of the Year; Commitment to People Development; Manufacturer of the Year; The Sustainability Award; Entrepreneur of the Year; Achievement in International Business; Excellence in Innovation; Best use of Technology to Improve Business Performance; and Young Person in Business Award. The awards will be demonstrating the very best of business from across the Province, highlighting the positive contribution that businesses make to the UK economy and to society as a whole. NI winners will then go on to compete

against the winners from 11 other regions across the UK, and compete for the overall UK winner. “Businesses from across Northern Ireland are finding innovative ways to grow, create jobs and wealth, and are continuing to drive the economic recovery forward,” said Kevin Kingston, vicepresident of the Northern Pictured are, from left, Christopher Morrow, communications manager at the NI Ireland Chamber. “We are Chamber; Kevin Kingston, vice-president; and Adele McIvor, corporate services manager at the Workspace Group, last year’s regional winner. hearing so many stories from dynamic companies about how they the excellence of local businesses.” are making a positive contribution to their The closing date for entries is Friday, June local communities, and finding new markets 27 with entrants then assessed and regional for their products and services at home winners named on September 22. The national and abroad. The annual Chamber Awards final will take place on November 27 at the celebrate these success stories, and highlights Tower of London Pavilion.

BCC launches retail business programme B

Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile is pictured with participants in Belfast City Council’s Introduction to Retail business programme.

Trade Minister Arlene Foster recently met with Kilkeel Strategic Partnership to discuss proposals for the regeneration of the local area. The Partnership aims to support business development, create employment and increase tourism opportunities. The Minister is pictured with, from left, Jeoff Hooks, chairman, Kilkeel Strategic Partnership; Alan McCulla CBE, chief executive, Sea-Source; and Victor Aiken MBE, chairman, Kilkeel Development Association.

8 • •Ulster 3646 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

elfast City Council launched a new creative business programme for retailers earlier this year, which saw eight participants completing the ‘Introduction to Retail’ course. Open to residents needing assistance with the skills needed to establish a retail outlet or other retail model, the programme provided test trading opportunities alongside mentoring and workshops and looked at other models for retail including e-commerce, pick up and collect and pop-up shops. The participants, including a high end fast food outlet, also had access to business support and a product development bursary with opportunities to test-trade. “The Introduction to Retail Programme is an innovative programme to stimulate and support those wishing to establish a retail business providing opportunities to develop appropriate products and fully test these,” said Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile from the Council’s Development Committee. “The retail sector is changing and new models and techniques are explored through the programme while also providing firm business grounding for new entrepreneurs.” For more information on Belfast City Council’s support for local business, visit or go to belfastbusinessinfo.

Ian McCafferty, a member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee, along with local Bank of England representatives, visited Dale Farm’s cheddar and whey processing facility at Dunmanbridge in Cookstown recently as part of a wider visit to Northern Ireland to discuss current economic business conditions. Dale Farm has recently completed a £50m investment programme in its processing plants, including at Dunmanbridge. Pictured are, from left, Chris McAlinden, factory manager at Dunmanbridge; Ian McCafferty, Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee; David Dobbin, chief executive of the Dale Farm Group; Frances Hill, Bank of England agent for Northern Ireland; Danny McAleese, finance director at the Dale Farm Group; and Gillian Anderson, Bank of England deputy agent for Northern Ireland.


People on the move

in association with

Unit A4, 17 Heron Road, Sydenham Business Park, Belfast, BT3 9LE. Tel: 028 9045 5040 • Fax: 028 9073 9058

Freshways appoints new head of innovation F Ian Mullin

reshways, Ireland’s largest sandwich maker, has appointed Ian Mullin as its new head of innovation. His primary role will be new product development, formulating recipes for front of store ranges and developing menus and ingredients for sandwich bars. Mullin holds an MSc in Food Product Development & Culinary Innovation and a BSc in Product Design, both from the Dublin Institute of Technology. “Freshways is the number one producer of sandwiches in Ireland because we are committed to quality, freshness and

Suzanne Wylie is appointed chief executive of new Belfast council


elfast City Council’s director of Health and Environmental Services Suzanne Wylie has been appointed as the first female chief executive of the new Belfast council that will come into operation on April 1, 2015. The Belfast Statutory Transition Committee (STC) agreed the appointment after a process administered by the Local Government Staff Commission of Northern Ireland. Alderman Gavin Robinson, chairman of the STC, said: “Suzanne fully merits this appointment after coming through a testing and strenuous recruitment process during the past few weeks. We believe she is the right person to take the council into a new era and elected representatives are convinced we can work with her for the good of the city. “It is an exciting time for the city and Suzanne, who has just completed 25 years’ service with the council. She has a wide range of experience across many of the council’s responsibilities, including environmental health, emergency planning, waste management and urban development.” Wylie said: “The months ahead will be extremely challenging as we prepare for the new powers and responsibilities that Local Government Reform will bring and the new areas that will come into our jurisdiction. “But I am confident, given the high calibre of our elected members, our staff, the stakeholders and the people of Belfast, that we can successfully work together in partnership to meet the challenge and grow the city as a great place to invest, work, live and visit in the years ahead.” There were 25 applicants – from a wide range of backgrounds, both locally and internationally - for the chief executive post.

creativity,” said Diarmuid Shanahan, co-owner of Freshways. “We have 150 fabulous and creative recipes in our range and Ian will contribute to the development of many more. Our commitment to anticipating and meeting the needs of consumers’ changing tastes is reflected in our constantly evolving creative recipes. “We are delighted that Ian has joined us as head of innovation, a vital role in ensuring Freshways continues to create fresh, high-quality, hand-made meal solutions.”



he new head of the Northern Ireland Transport Regulation Unit, Donna Knowles, attended a recent Freight Transport Association (FTA) annual Transport Manager Conference in Belfast. Chairing the event was FTA’s policy & membership relations manager for Northern Ireland, Seamus Leheny, who said: “FTA was delighted to welcome Donna Knowles as the new head of the Transport Regulation Unit in NI at our annual Transport Manager event. Her being here today is a clear indication that she is keen to become engaged with our industry and members alike, and we look forward to working with her in the future.” Knowles was formerly at the Department of Justice, and took over her post at the DOE on April 1, replacing Donald Armstrong who was speaking at the FTA conference.

RECRUITMENT, CONTRACTING & FIELD MARKETING CONSULTANTS 3O YEAR’S RECRUITING IRELAND’S TOP SALES & MARKETING PERSONNEL Unit A4, 17 Heron Road, Sydenham Business Park, Belfast, BT3 9LE. Tel: 028 9045 5040 • Fax: 028 9073 9058


email: email.


shelf life

To see your product featured in Shelf-life, contact Karen at or call (028) 9078 3235

Ocean Spray® Craisins® New Brandy Variety debut at Henderson’s Spar Chunks in Jelly 12 Pack D eliciously sweet and tantalisingly tangy, Ocean Spray® Craisins® Dried Cranberries are now available in Northern Ireland Henderson’s Spar Stores. These plump and juicy dried cranberries pack a big taste punch with an intense fruity flavour, and are free from artificial colours, flavourings and preservatives. So versatile, Craisins® Dried Cranberries are an ideal store cupboard ingredient that’s perfect for snacking, cooking and baking. In summer, add a sophisticated zest and burst of colour to an ordinary salad. Or, when you are entertaining, why not try our Three Cheese Ravioli with Warm Cranberry Pesto or Salmon and Cranberry Relish recipes? For baking enthusiasts Craisins® Dried Cranberries can be added to traditional recipes such as scones and hot cross buns. But for a more gourmet treat, the divine Cranberry Oatmeal and White Chocolate Cookies are a surefire hit with the family! These recipes, and a host of others, can be found at Ocean Spray® Craisins® Dried Cranberries are available in selected Spar Stores in Northern Ireland. Further information on Craisins® can be found at


randy is excited to announce the launch of their new Brandy Variety Chunks in Jelly 12 Pack. Brandy Chunks in Jelly 12 Pack will complement the current Brandy Variety Loaf 12 Pack. This new Chunks in Jelly 12 Pack is a mixed variety poultry selection and is available in four tasty recipes to tempt your dog’s taste buds, Chicken, Chicken & Duck, Chicken & Turkey and Duck & Turkey. This pack is available to order now. Made from 100% Irish Meat and fully traceable from farm to can, you know you’re feeding your dog only the best. Brandy... because they’re 100% family!

Rich, bold and earthly beans from Sumatra W

e know you like to take your time over your coffee, we do too. We have been selecting, roasting and blending the world’s finest Arabica coffee beans in Dublin since 1905. We take time to ensure that you get the same great taste every time by continuously tasting the beans and blend at every stage of process. Look out for the freshness value at the front of our pack, this allows us to pack our coffee immediately after roasting, in order to make sure you enjoy the fullest flavour. To prepare your coffee in a cafeteria use one well rounded dessertspoonful of coffee grounds per cup for normal strength coffee. Wet the grounds evenly with water that’s just off the boil, leave for five minutes and plunge. Robert Roberts 3 Star Coffee Beans 227g pack will be available in Tesco Northern Ireland from mid-May. 48 00


Asda Foundation contributes to local charity A

sda Northern Ireland has announced a partnership with Active Communities Network, following a donation of £58,000 by the Asda Foundation to the charity. The donation, the largest provided by the Asda Foundation to a local charity or group to date, will support the charity’s outreach into areas with high social deprivation; targeting some of Northern Ireland’s most ‘at risk’ young people, delivering clear progression pathways into citizenship and employment. Active Communities Network has been operating in Northern Ireland since 2009, promoting personal, social and community development for young people through the mediums of sport, physical activity, arts and culture. The partnership with Asda will specifically target areas of North and West Belfast, supported by the Asda Shore Road and Asda Westwood stores, where outreach programmes are already underway. As well as a financial contribution, the partnership will also see Asda Community Life Champions and colleagues from the two participating stores mentor young people, shadowing them during sport and youth work programmes as well as offering them work placement opportunities. “This is an absolutely fantastic initiative that will have a tremendously positive impact on the young people in the north and west of the city,” said Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir. “These organisations are making a fantastic commitment to local communities in tackling social deprivation. I commend them on

Pictured are, from left, Julie Ward, foundation manager at Asda; the Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir; and Jim Donnelly, programme manager at Active Communities Network.

the great work they are carrying out.” Julie Ward, Asda Foundation manager, said: “This partnership will benefit not just the young people who take part, but the wider communities in which they live. This is not just a monetary donation; colleagues from our Shore Road and Westwood stores will be on hand to help these youngsters relate to the workplace.”

Coca-Cola supports Fairbridge programme

The Simon Community Northern Ireland has thanked Kingsmill for its donation of loaves to its network of projects over the coming year. “Kingsmill is delighted to be supporting Simon Community NI as it strives to support some of the most vulnerable people in our society,” said Gerry Cassidy of Allied Bakeries, producer of Kingsmill. “People who are homeless face a daily struggle to eat a nutritious diet and we hope that our donation will go some way to address this.” Pictured are representatives from Kingsmill alongside Joanne English, marketing manager at Simon Community NI.

Prince’s Trust Fairbridge participants James Deeds and Natalie Coffey are pictured with Zoe Cunningham, island of Ireland communications manager, Coca-Cola HBC.


SuperValu stores across Northern Ireland raised over £85,000 last year for Action Cancer, with stores holding events such as golf days, coffee mornings, raffles and trolley dash events to raise funds for its Big Bus mobile screening and health promotion unit. The Action Cancer Big Bus was launched in 2006, and since then almost 40,000 people have used the breast screening and health promotion services on the unit. As part of the partnership between Action Cancer and SuperValu stores host Big Bus visits and raise funds year round. Pictured are, from left, Action Cancer patron Nuala McKeever; Kerry Anderson, Action Cancer; and Donna Morrison, marketing manager at SuperValu.


group of 12 young people supported by The Prince’s Trust recently celebrated the launch of the first Fairbridge Active and Healthy Life Skills programme funded by the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund. An individually-tailored personal development programme, Fairbridge works with young people aged 16 to 25 who have chaotic lifestyles, multiple issues and barriers, and need help to overcome problems in their lives. “During 2014, up to 200 young people will take part in Fairbridge with the £8,500 funding provided by Coca-Cola used to engage young people in the series of 10-week introductions to a more balanced and healthy lifestyle,” said Ian Jeffers, director with The Prince’s Trust. The Active and Healthy Life Skills initiative combines sessions in eating well, getting involved in sport, identifying opportunities for exercise within the local community, and making positive choices with education around using drugs and alcohol, sexual and mental health and first aid.


Tel: 028 9083 3040

Over forty years at the heart of the local food industry, Ulster Grocer will be counting down the Top 25 performing food & drink companies in Northern Ireland in our Summer edition. The Top 25 will be an in-depth and definitive guide to the local food companies who are continuing to thrive and develop in spite of the challenges facing them. From the large household name, multi-national brands through to the smaller, locally run companies, this list acts as a “who’s who” of the local food industry.

NEW FOR 2014 - RISING STARS of the local food industry. Ulster Grocer’s Rising Stars profile will feature SMEs excelling in the local food sector from producers and manufacturers to wholesalers and retailers, or even notable providers of services to the food industry such as equipment, IT and logistics.

Advertising Enquiries:

Karen Graham - Michelle Kearney -

Editorial Enquiries:

Alyson Magee -

028 9078 3235 Editorial Copy Deadline: 13/06/14 Advertising Copy Deadline: 20/06/14


Marketing to make your mouth water. And your margins prosper. Kingsmill, Moy Park, Food NI, Powers Whiskey and West Coast Cooler; just some of the clients we do delicious work for. Work that stands out and more importantly brings customers in. Creative. Innovative. Effective. Contact us to see if we can whet your appetite. Email to request a copy of our free booklet, ‘Hello’, where you’ll find some juicy work for products and services just like yours. AV Browne. Proud sponsors of the 2014 Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards.

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Ulster Grocer  

May 2014

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