A Ballyclare company was named as the SPAR’ chains Best Local Supplier in Northern Ireland at the recent Balmoral Show.
Fred C Robinson, one of Ireland’s oldest pork processors, based at Hillhead Road, has been a supplier of branded and own label pork products to the Henderson Group, which has owned the SPAR franchise in Northern Ireland, for almost 25 years.
The Henderson Group, owners of the SPAR franchise in Northern Ireland and a “platinum” sponsor of the Balmoral Show, held the SPAR Local Suppliers’ Awards to mark the excellent produce, practices and ranges of the companies to which it is associated.
Fred C Robinson supplies SPAR stores across Northern Ireland with 100 per cent locally-sourced pork and has taken ownership of the SPAR label pork category over the last 12 months.
The company has been heavily involved in new product development for SPAR which has resulted in the introduction of innovative weekend roasts and Christmas ranges.
Neal Kelly, Henderson Group’s fresh food director and head of the judging panel, said the company was “fortunate to work with many great suppliers from across Northern Ireland in its focus to bring the best fresh food to customers”.
“The 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.
“We feel we have very worthy winners and importantly, companies which reflect our values.
“Our longstanding relationship with Fred C Robinson says a lot about how well they work with us. They continue to be forward-thinking in their product development, with revamped ranges and new products with real provenance arriving on our shelves.”
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 through focusing on further improving its local fresh ranges. Over 75 per cent of the fresh offer is sourced from the island of Ireland.