Sainsbury's goes local in NI

Sainsbury's has announced it is moving to 100% local beef for its Northern Ireland stores.

Following the move last November to sell only locally sourced lamb in its nine Northern Ireland stores, Sainsbury's has announced that, by the end of this month, 100% of its fresh beef sold locally will be sourced, processed and packed locally.

This move covers all brands of fresh beef on sale in Sainsbury's including the 'Taste the Difference', 'Be Good to Yourself' and 'So Organic' ranges and all aisle and counter beef.

The volume of beef sourced and sold by Sainsbury's in Northern Ireland is presently in excess of £3.85m per annum.

The decision to source all fresh beef locally is a boost to the local farming industry and, according to Sainsbury's agriculture manager Annie Graham, is likely to lead to an increase in sales.

Graham said the decision to source only in Northern Ireland is a further commitment from Sainsbury's to local suppliers.

"Last year we were pleased to announce that we would source only locally produced lamb, and that decision was widely welcomed by customers and the farming sector.

"Sainsbury's is delighted to extend that commitment to include all beef sold in our local stores. We continually strive to meet our customer's demands and Sainsbury's shoppers are very clear in what they want from us, which is great food at fair prices. We believe that we can deliver this for our customers by sourcing beef and lamb exclusively from NI farms," she said.

"This is a major boost to the farming sector, with whom we work very closely. Farmers will now benefit from a longer-term commitment from Sainsbury's and better prices for meeting our additional quality specifications and increased opportunities to supply Sainsbury's.

"Of course, in recent months we have announced the acquisition of two new stores through the purchase of the Curley's group, so our number of outlets and volume of customers is on the rise in Northern Ireland."