Today we announced that we will be further extending our long-standing 20-year relationship with Country Crest, for the supply of potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes to all Tesco stores nationwide and for online shopping in a two and a half-year contract worth €62.5million.
Country Crest, the north Co Dublin fourth-generation agri-business led by Gabriel and Michael Hoey, will continue to grow and pack all Tesco own brand fresh potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes for Tesco Ireland. The agreement, until September 2022, will see us source over 35,000 tonnes of fresh produce annually from Country Crest. Employing more than 120 people at its production, farming divisions and source directly from a further 50 farming families across Ireland, the agreement will see Country Crest supply:
- Almost 30,000 tonnes of potatoes sourced on a yearly basis including Rooster, Maris Piper, Queens, organic, baby varieties and signature Tesco finest* roosters
- Almost 5,000 tonnes of onions crossing eight varieties including brown, red and shallots
- Over 1,000 tonnes of sweet potatoes concentrating on the Covington variety
Joe Manning, our Commercial Director, said, “We’re delighted to continue our support for Irish producers with this new contract with Country Crest which will give confidence to potato growers nationwide during what is a challenging time for the agri-sector. We’ve worked with Gabriel and Michael and the team for over twenty years. They are well known for their passion for authenticity, innovation and delivering the best quality produce for our customers.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone, the team at Country Crest have worked hard to react to increase in demand for potatoes. The dry weather of late means that planting and sowing has gone well, and new-season crops are on target. This should see us deliver new-season Irish potatoes to stores and online by mid-late May. We look forward to delivering on this with the help of Country Crest,” he concluded.
Commenting on the deal, Country Crest Director, Gabriel Hoey, said “We are delighted to be able to extend and further strengthen our supply partnership with Tesco Ireland. This offers our business, our work colleagues and our network of professional growers some very welcome security into the future’.
This move is one of a number we have taken since the Covid-19 crisis began last month to support our Irish suppliers. Among the measures taken has been to speed up payments to all our small suppliers, so they are paid within five days. We are also committed to maintain the same price we are paying for beef up to June 2020, when we will review the situation.
Tesco is one of the biggest purchasers of Irish food and drink in the world and we work with 480 Irish food suppliers and by extension 13,000 farming families across the country. We are very conscious of the pressure that the agri-business sector is under due to Covid-19, with non-retail markets disappearing for several sectors. We continue to proudly showcase over 60 Irish farmhouse cheeses in our store counter offering, upweighting availability of stocks where food service demand has declined.