UFU fruit and vegetable growers meet with retailers

Pictured meeting Tesco are Sean Largey, Tesco NI Commercial Manager, Ivor Ferguson, UFU Deputy President, Victor Chestnutt, UFU Deputy President, Patricia Erwin, UFU Senior Policy Officer, William Gilpin, General Manager at Gilfresh Produce, Sandra Weir, Tesco NI Regional Buying Manager and Thomas Gilpin, Owner of Gilfresh Produce
Pictured meeting Tesco are Sean Largey, Tesco NI Commercial Manager, Ivor Ferguson, UFU Deputy President, Victor Chestnutt, UFU Deputy President, Patricia Erwin, UFU Senior Policy Officer, William Gilpin, General Manager at Gilfresh Produce, Sandra Weir, Tesco NI Regional Buying Manager and Thomas Gilpin, Owner of Gilfresh Produce

Representatives of the Ulster Farmers’ Union fruit and vegetable committees recently met with major retailers, including ASDA, Supervalu, Henderson’s, Spar and Tesco at Balmoral Show.

Discussions centred around improving cooperation at all stages along the supply chain. At the meetings the Union explained how a collaborative approach can benefit all; this has been recently highlighted by the success of a local Producer Organisation – Northway Mushrooms.

Pictured meeting ASDA are William Gilpin, General Manager at Gilfresh Produce, Billy Clelland, ASDA NI Quality Manager and Thomas Gilpin, Owner of Gilfresh Produce (front row L-R) Michael McCallion, ASDA Senior Buying Manager, Patricia Erwin, UFU Senior Policy Officer, Ivor Ferguson, UFU Deputy President and Joe McDonald, ASDA NI Corporate Affairs Manager

Pictured meeting ASDA are William Gilpin, General Manager at Gilfresh Produce, Billy Clelland, ASDA NI Quality Manager and Thomas Gilpin, Owner of Gilfresh Produce (front row L-R) Michael McCallion, ASDA Senior Buying Manager, Patricia Erwin, UFU Senior Policy Officer, Ivor Ferguson, UFU Deputy President and Joe McDonald, ASDA NI Corporate Affairs Manager

UFU is fully supportive of forging industry relationships which will deliver benefits for all involved in the fruit and vegetable sectors. This is an initiative that the Union has been working on for some time and it is pleased to be able to further explore its potential with retailers.

In response to a high level of interest from the sector the UFU has now organised a Producer Organisation Think Tank Meeting which will provide a forum for industry members to come together to share knowledge and exchange ideas. This meeting follows on from a prior Producer Organisation event organised by UFU at the beginning of May. At this Think Tank Meeting UFU aims to bring together like minded people from both vegetable and top fruit production to explore and progress a way forward for Producer Organisations.

UFU are pleased to work in cooperation with CAFRE and DAERA to further develop this inclusive industry initiative.