Farm Ireland

Monday 21 January 2019

Farmer brothers extend massive deal with Tesco to supply 65,000t of potatoes and veg

Michael Hoey with Sheila Gallagher, commercial director, Tesco Ireland and Gabriel Hoey.
Michael Hoey with Sheila Gallagher, commercial director, Tesco Ireland and Gabriel Hoey.

Country Crest cultivates Tesco Ireland relationship with €60m contract

  • Over 65,000 tonnes of fresh produce to be sold in Irish stores between now and 2020

Country Crest, the north Dublin-based family-owned agri-business, and Tesco Ireland have confirmed a further extension of its almost 20 year relationship until 2020. Owned by Gabriel and Michael Hoey, Country Crest will continue to supply all potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes to Tesco Ireland’s 149 stores and via online shopping in a deal worth over €60m.

The contract extension will ensure that Tesco customers continue to receive the same consistent quality across own label potatoes that they know and love annually. In addition Country Crest will also continue to supply onions and sweet potatoes to Tesco stores nationwide, bringing the total number of units sold annually to over 200m individual produce units.

The 2020 agreement will see Tesco Ireland source over 65,000t of fresh produce from Country Crest, including over 20,000t of potatoes sourced on a yearly basis (approximately 158m individual potatoes) including golden wonder, queens and organic. 

It will also see the company supply 4,300t of onions crossing eight varieties – brown, red, pink and shallots which is 38m onions, including 2.5m shallots and 930t of sweet potatoes concentrating on Covington and Bonita varieties- which equates to 4.65m individual sweet potatoes.

The fourth generation of the Hoey family, brothers Michael and Gabriel, established Country Crest to grow and pre-pack fresh potatoes for the retail sector and are famed for their passion for authenticity, innovation and the best quality produce.

Sheila Gallagher, commercial director, Tesco Ireland, commenting on the contract announcement, “Our long history of partnering with Country Crest has helped to provide the confidence potato growers and the whole potato industry needs to invest and innovate for the future".

Gabriel Hoey, Country Crest, said: “2018 marks the 20th anniversary of our trading relationship with Tesco Ireland.  Over the years we have worked closely with Tesco to bring about real change in how potatoes are sold in Ireland.

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"Through continuous product innovation and improving technical standards the humble potato continues to remain a staple of the Irish household. We’ve built the business to a degree where we now employ over 120 people in our production, farming divisions and sourcing directly from a further 30 farming families across Ireland. We’re delighted to continue that until 2020”.  

Before the end of the sixteenth century families of Basque sailors began to cultivate potatoes along the Biscay coast of northern Spain. Sir Walter Raleigh introduced potatoes to Ireland in 1589 on the 40,000 acres of land near Cork. It took nearly four decades for the potato to spread to the rest of Europe. 

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