Posted on Wednesday 9 May 2012 by Ulster Business

Clandeboye

Lady Dufferin from Clandeboye Estate with Sandra Weir, Buying Manager, Tesco.

Local artisan food producers are being offered a unique chance to get their products in front of thousands of consumers with a new initiative being launched by Tesco at this year’s Balmoral Show.

Tesco, which has been a major supporter of Northern Ireland producers for some years now, is reinforcing its commitment to the supply of local food with a campaign offering smaller companies the fantastic chance to get their food into its stores.

Successful producers will be able to display, sell and allow customers to sample their fare in the foyer of selected Tesco stores in a series of specialist artisan displays during the summer months.

Tesco is encouraging local producers to visit its stand at the Balmoral Show, located within the Food NI marquee, where marketing and commercial personnel will outline how the scheme will work.

Last year Tesco spent more than £500m on local products and now stocks around 1200 items from 90 Northern Ireland suppliers.

The company hopes that some as yet undiscovered firms producing first class food products could be given a massive boost by the scheme which could lead to eventual listings in Tesco stores.

One local firm whose products are sold by Tesco explained what it meant to their new business to get the backing of such a major multinational.

Bryan Boggs, General Manager of Clandeboye Estates Yoghurts said: “Tesco agreed to list our products shortly after our launch in 2008 and this provided a fantastic lift to our business.

“They have been very supportive and offered us a lot of guidance on how to promote our products and also, being able to deal with Tesco people based here in Northern Ireland, has made a huge difference.

“Working with Tesco gave us fantastic leverage when dealing with other customers. Just to be seen to be able to supply and work with a major retail giant like Tesco helps show that your company is a reasonable size and quality.

“Tesco are so easy to work with. You just make one delivery to their depot and they handle the job of distribution throughout their stores.”

Cliff Kells, Commercial Manager from Tesco said the initiative heralds the start of Tesco’s drive to work in partnership with local artisans and is one in a series of initiatives this year making up Celebrate Tesco Taste Northern Ireland 2012.

 “Ultimately this is about giving our consumers the best range of top quality products and helping local artisans get a foot on the Tesco ladder. There are many instances of local companies in Northern Ireland achieving listings here and then enjoying growth throughout our international network, so there are real opportunities here.  We’re looking forward to meeting people with good ideas, good products and good businesses with whom we can work in partnership.”

Companies interested in this new opportunity can visit the Tesco stall at the Balmoral Show where they will get full details and be able to see a virtual store graphic backdrop with the type of display stands available.

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