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Sunday 21 January 2018

Kilkenny farmers in €70m potato deal with Aldi

John O’Shea of O’Shea’s Farms and Paul Scally, Aldi Ireland’s Buying Director
John O’Shea of O’Shea’s Farms and Paul Scally, Aldi Ireland’s Buying Director
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

A Kilkenny-based fruit and vegetable wholesaler has signed a deal to provide Aldi with €70m worth of Irish-grown potatoes over three years.

Under the new agreement, Iverk Produce will supply Aldi’s 129 Irish stores with 27,000 tonnes of locally-grown rooster, white and salad potatoes annually, representing a significant increase in the quantities Iverk Produce currently supplies to Aldi’s stores.

Based in Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, Iverk Produce employs over 190 people from the local community full-time, in addition to a further 30-40 seasonal workers.

O’Shea farms is owned by Richard, Thomas, John and Seamus O'Shea.

While Richard concentrated on dairying, the rest of the hard-working brothers built up a business that handles close to 37,000 tonnes of carrots, potatoes and other fruit and veg under the moniker of Iverk produce.

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All its potatoes are sourced from 30 Bord Bia approved growers predominantly in the South East of Ireland.

The company has partnered with Aldi since the retailer first entered the Irish market in 1999.

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Commenting on the announcement, John O’Shea of Iverk Produce said that the security provided by the partnership with Aldi has enabled the company to invest and substantially grow its business over the last two decades,

"We are delighted to have agreed a new contract with Aldi to continue to supply its stores with the very best in Bord Bia approved Irish grown potatoes," Mr O’Shea said.

The agreement follows Aldi’s recent announcement that it is investing €60m in its ‘Project Fresh’ future stores concept over the next five years as it aims to bring more fresh food to more customers.

"We work with over 175 Irish suppliers and our long-term relationships with suppliers like Iverk Produce ensures we can provide our customers the very best in locally-sourced Irish produce day-in, day-out," Finbar McCarthy, Aldi’s group buying director, said.

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