Sainsbury’s has this week, agreed a six figure deal with local dairy business Dale Farm to supply Sainsbury’s own label cheddar cheese in its 13 stores in Northern Ireland. From Mild to Mature, the range will initially be available in 400g packs.
Sainsbury’s is committed to supporting its local supply base in Northern Ireland; however it is essential to also continue to grow the business’s own label brands in line with customer demand. It is important that when possible Sainsbury’s bring these two commitments together so customers are able to buy Sainsbury’s own brand products which offer quality and value while knowing they have been produced by suppliers in the area. This is what has been achieved with this new own brand cheddar supplied by Dale Farm.
Welcoming the announcement during the Sainsbury’s Stakeholder Event at Balmoral Show, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “Over recent years, the food and drink processing sector has shown sustained growth, both in terms of output and employment. Organisations such as Sainsbury’s contribute significantly to the agri-food industry through their commitment to local products.
“Currently, one in every seven products sold by Sainsbury’s is from local suppliers and I welcome today’s announcement that Dale Farm have secured a contract to supply Sainsbury’s own label cheese to 13 local stores.
“Furthermore, the company’s award-winning ‘20 by 20 Sustainability Plan’, includes an immensely encouraging commitment to source only locally produced beef for Northern Ireland stores, which will certainly benefit our farms and processors and sustain employment particularly in the rural economy.”
Alison Atkin, Sainsbury’s prepack cheese buyer said: “We are delighted to be able to make this announcement at the Balmoral Show given the significance of the contract. We already have a number of regional cheeses stocked on our cheese counters, but we are seeing a growing demand for locally sourced cheddar which customers can pick up from the aisle. It is fantastic to have been able to take this process forward with Dale Farm.
“Dale Farm is an expert in its field, and knows what to expect in dealing with a supermarket chain which has allowed the process to move forward so much quicker. We are currently finalising the details and hope to have this product on our shelves in Northern Ireland in the very near future.”
Jason Hempton, Commercial Manager Ireland at Dale Farm added: “We are delighted to have secured this contract with Sainsbury’s stores across Northern Ireland. We have worked in partnership with Sainsbury’s for over 20 years, supplying products including fresh milk and cream, and to now also have our cheese selected for inclusion in the retailer’s own brand range is a very positive development”.
“To have the support of Sainsbury’s is vital to the continued growth of our products and great news for the 1,600 Northern Ireland dairy farmers whose high quality milk we use to produce them.”
Sainsbury’s has 13 stores in Northern Ireland and currently works with more than 100 local food suppliers across Northern Ireland supplying branded and own brand products.