Supporting the local economy and working with the Irish food and agricultural industry is a core value for Tesco Ireland. We are committed to sourcing local products where possible. Tesco Ireland puts ethical trading at the heart of its operations by adhering to the Ethical Trading Initiative and making sustainable environmental impact a key business priority. Our commitment to supporting the Irish economy on a national and local basis has been central to our development in Ireland. We are the largest single buyer of Irish food products in the world, and have pioneered programmes to foster entrepreneurial development in the Irish food and agricultural sector. Developing export opportunities for Irish food in Tesco Britain is another priority for Tesco Ireland.
Tesco stores outside of Ireland are the second biggest buyers in the world of Irish food and drink. They even eclipse France, which has traditionally been Ireland's second biggest food and drink export market.
Customers increasingly want products that contribute to the local economy and local suppliers. Our Local Supplier Programme encourages local suppliers to provide high quality produce to Tesco stores in their locality. The programme is already active in counties Wexford, Tipperary, Offaly, Cork, Galway, Wicklow, Kildare, Limerick, Mayo, Waterford, and Clare. We now give more shelf space at a local level to local suppliers, who are highlighted in store by their county colours displayed on hanging boards and dividers.