Working with Irish suppliers

40% of products sold in our stores here in Ireland are of Irish origin and 75% of products are sourced from Irish suppliers.

One of the key strategies for Tesco's success has been our development of Irish suppliers to produce Irish Tesco brand products both for stores in Ireland and for export to the UK.

From very small beginnings, Tesco now carries over 1000 Tesco brand products in our range. The Tesco Ireland range produced in Ireland includes milk, cheese, bread, fresh meat, frozen pizzas, frozen ready meals, frozen fish, muesli, confectionery, juices, biscuits, jams and a full range of Irish fruit and vegetables.

An ESRI audit in 1999 confirmed that Tesco Group purchases from Irish companies had risen from £687m in 1996/97 to £835m in 1998/99, an impressive increase of 22% in a short time. A target level of £997 million purchases from Irish companies remains on course to be achieved in 2002.

Tesco Ireland Supplier Development

Tesco Ireland, in association with Enterprise Ireland, operates a scheme known as the Supplier Development Programme. The purpose of the scheme is to help Irish companies to compete in a rapidly changing trading environment.

A supplier company will normally approach Tesco with a new product or concept, which may be either a Tesco brand product or branded product. If it is a Tesco brand, the first step is to audit the supplier's premises and their production process. Companies will be audited under the following key headings:

- Food hygiene requirement
- Quality management systems
- Factory capability
- Supply chain management

Suppliers will receive a detailed report outlining areas that require attention. From this, the supplier will develop an action plan to address any key concerns. This will be reviewed on a regular basis by a Tesco Technologist and supplier. When all actions are complete, the task of developing the product and packaging can begin.

Hazard Analysis And Critical Control Point (HACCP)
Control of Food Safety - one of the more critical systems for a supplier to have in operation.

HACCP is a systematic approach to the identification, evaluation and control of food safety hazards based on the following seven principles:

- Conduct a hazard control
- Determine the critical control points
- Establish critical limits
- Establish monitoring procedures
- Establish corrective actions
- Establish verification procedures
- Establish record-keeping and documentation procedures
- Review on a regular basis

Developing the product to meet consumers' requirements in terms of quality and value for money is paramount to the long-term success of any product. When the above process is complete the suppliers' premises and processes can then be approved to supply the Tesco brand product.

Dublin-Meath Growers Society Limited
The effectiveness of Tesco Ireland's supplier process can best be demonstrated by looking at the story of an Irish supplier.

Dublin-Meath Growers Society Limited

Dublin Meath Growers Society Limited (DMG) are a Horticultural Society based at the Ward, Co Dublin. The company was formed in 1987 by a small number of growers and currently has a membership list of twenty-nine growers. The company is run by a commercial team who report monthly (or as often as needed) to an executive committee.

Having dealt with Quinnsworth on a limited basis since 1987, DMG was successful in obtaining a percentage of the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables to Tesco Ireland. They are currently Tesco Ireland's sole suppliers of a number of core lines and also supply large percentages of about forty lines.

Dublin-Meath Growers acknowledges that Tesco Ireland sets stringent standards but they are grateful for the assistance that Tesco gives them in applying these standards and with both advice and actual back-up when needed.

DMG had operated under ISO 9002 since 1994. They introduced HACCP and although it is a major undertaking they feel it will be extremely beneficial in the coming years.

DMG believe that as a result of the link with Tesco Ireland they have become a much more focused company. This is reflected in a particular emphasis on quality, packaging and marketing of their products. This improved quality, in turn, has benefited consumers. DMG have reached the targets set by Tesco to date and anticipate being closely aligned with them in the future.

Tesco Ireland Quality Guaranteed
All Tesco Ireland own-label products are Quality Guaranteed, this means, we are happy to refund or replace any Tesco product, which does not meet the high standard you expect.
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