Northway Producer Organisation is delighted to announce its partnership with local retailers, the Kelly family and their DSP Supermarket Group this summer.
The chain of nine stores, all branded under Eurospar, Spar, Vivo and VivoXtra, as well as long-standing Northway supporter - JC Stewarts in Magherafelt are located throughout the Mid- Ulster area. Customers can now pick up a punnet of Northway Grown fresh, sweet and locally produced strawberries in these stores and in doing so, will also be supporting the work of Northway in supporting its farmer membership throughout Northern Ireland.
As we move past the halfway point in the local strawberry season, which runs from May until October each year, the Northern Ireland strawberry is in high demand. Foodie consumers across Northern Ireland have become increasingly aware of the provenance of their summer strawberry and the impact it has on its taste, flavour and quality. Customers are beginning to ask their local supermarkets to supply strawberries that have been grown right here in Northern Ireland and it is clear retailers are responding, as demand for Northway Grown strawberries reaches a record high.
Northway’s planned and collaborative production between its six strawberry growers means that there is a wealth of truly delicious, Northway Grown Strawberries available for local stores and customers throughout the season and this season is seeing the biggest demand for the fresh local produce yet – for perhaps the first time since the range launched in 2013, demand is close to outstripping supply!
Bursting with flavour and easily identifiable with the Northway Grown Logo – consumers are quickly realising that Northway Grown is a quality mark that when seen on produce punnets, guarantees its contents are fresh, delicious and of local origin, produced ethically and sustainably in Northern Ireland. Furthermore, Northway Grown produce is Red Tractor Quality assured and is also packed and distributed from a Northern Ireland accredited facility.
Elaine Shaw, CEO of Northway producer organisation, said: “If you check your punnet to ensure it is Northern Ireland strawberries you are picking up between now and October, you will be rewarded with a flavour and freshness that just cannot be matched. Between seasons Northway work hard planning, planting and growing strawberries, based on projected demand to ensure that in the height of the season there is a plentiful supply available for its customers and its customer’s customer. Historically, due to poor planning in the sector, there has been a lack of product, at times, during the local season that has previously forced retailers to turn to imports for reliability.
“However, as Northway moves rapidly through its third season and look towards its fourth, it is our belief that retailers and customers no longer have to settle for imported strawberries during season – there is a steady, reliable, quality supply of proudly Northern Irish Strawberries available in the Northway Grown range. With the added demand for our produce this season, we will be increasing planned production for next season, which we are now starting to plan!
“Northway is delighted to have had such a positive response to our product and is always delighted to welcome on board new retailers and stockists such as the Kelly family this season.”
Fresh Producer buyer Stephen Mallon, of DSP Supermarket Group, pictured, backed this up and said: “Stocking Northway Grown Strawberries on the shelves of our stores this summer was a no brainer! The colour, smell and taste of a locally produced strawberry are a class apart from imported product and we go to great lengths to present only the very best options to our customers. Working with Northway ensures that our stores get regular deliveries of fresh, quality, local product week in and week out– we can’t ask for more than that!”
As a result of these developments by Northway and its members, Northway Grown Strawberries will be in a store near you this summer - just look out for the logo or like Northway Grown on Facebook for a full listing of all retailers supporting the Northway Support Local campaign this season.
If you are interested in stocking Northway Grown Strawberries contact Elaine Shaw at Northway (028) 3754 9370.