A Co Monaghan-based food company has sealed a €1m per year deal with Tesco that is expected to create 10 jobs.
Swift Fine Foods of Castleblayney manufactures the Chef Cuisine line of ready-made meals.
The line was initially introduced in 20 Tesco stores in Oct 2012 as part of the Tesco/Bord Bia Supplier Development Programme.
The company’s lines, such as Stuffed Fillet of Pork with Wholegrain Mash, and Steamed Fillet of Irish Hake, have been a hit with consumers and are to be expanded to 100 Tesco outlets across Ireland.
Owner of Swift Fine Foods, Robert McElwaine, said the key to securing the million euro deal had been a focus on quality.
“A big focus for us from the start has been ensuring that the quality credentials of our food were clear to potential customers. We knew we had a quality product that could fill a gap in the retail market.
“We also knew that certain quality credentials had to be met. Tesco has recognised the level of quality in our offering, and building on our selection to participate in the 2012 Tesco /Bord Bia Supplier Development Programme, our partnership with Tesco has strengthened from there,” he said.
The latest deal will not only help sustain the 100 existing jobs at Swift Fine Foods, but will create at least another 10.
Tesco chilled convenience buyer Liliana Caruto said the success of Swift Fine Foods is an example of co-operation between suppliers and distributors in order to meet consumers’ needs.
“Since we began work with Swift Fine Foods last year, the popularity of their meals has grown rapidly. We are focused on developing more business opportunities for local suppliers like Swift Fine Foods and are delighted to expand our partnership with this newest product range.”
Annually, €705m worth of Irish food and drink is exported to Tesco internationally, more than Irish food and drink exports to France (€524m), Germany or the US.
International exports to Tesco now represent 9% of overall food and drink exports from Ireland.
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