Wilson’s Country; Outstanding Supplier of Spuds

Wilson’s Country Potatoes has been named as Tesco Outstanding Supplier of the Month for August 2013.

The award is in recognition of the enormous effort made by the company and its growers to supply all the supermarket’s Northern Ireland stores with Tesco brand potatoes, grown here and sold here.

Within the last year, Wilson’s has worked closely with Tesco to ensure that locally grown potatoes are used in the Tesco brand bags whenever possible, minimising the potatoes imported from elsewhere and supporting the local farming industry.

Sandra Weir, Fresh Food Buying Manager, Tesco NI said, “We have introduced an Outstanding Supplier of the Month award, through which we can publicly celebrate and recognise the enormous effort our Northern Ireland suppliers put in for our customers.

“Over the past year to 18 months, the Tesco NI buying team has been heavily focussed on switching supply of fresh produce, meat, milk and eggs to local suppliers wherever possible.  With fresh vegetables, we are at the mercy of the weather and the seasons, which is why we work with companies like Wilson’s, who really are experts in their field.

“Wilson’s Country is the leading potato brand in Ireland and they understand the crops, the varieties and the lead times required to ensure a steady supply of local produce.  This has been a superb partnership, resulting in a sales increase of around 200,000 bags of potatoes in the last year.  The potato market has declined in the past 12 months by around 10% and yet Wilson’s have seen an increase in sales of 2%.

“We want our suppliers to know that their hard work is important to us and we want our customers to know all about it too.  Huge congratulations to Wilson’s Country.”

Joanne Weir of Wilson’s Country said, “We work with a group of hard-working and trusted potato growers across Northern Ireland and this is great news not only for us as a company but also for them.  Wilson’s Country has been supplying own brand potatoes to Tesco in Northern Ireland since 1997.  This has grown from just one product into one store to now delivering in the region of 1.2 million potatoes per week to stores across Northern Ireland.

“Our recent work to switch to maximum local supply for Tesco means that in season Tesco Baby Potatoes over the summer have been locally grown and as we enter Autumn, Tesco brand White Potatoes and Maris Pipers are also freshly dug from Northern Ireland soil, as well as supplies of Wilson’s own brand Comber, Kerr’s Pinks, Navans and Queen’s varieties.  To receive recognition as an Outstanding Supplier to Tesco is superb – we are delighted.”

Monthly award winners receive a Bridgestone-style plaque, free publicity in local press, advertising support, and shelf-edge signage in all Tesco stores which stock their product.

This is a further extension of the Tesco Taste Northern Ireland campaign, aimed at educating customers and connecting them with the people and places behind their favourite Northern Ireland food & drink.   For more information on the Taste NI campaign and award winners, follow on