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Businesses to share their secrets at event

Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of NI Chamber; Michael McCallion, Senior Buying Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland at Asda and Brian Telford, Head of Markets at Danske Bank.
Rebecca Kincade on July 22, 2014 - 7:50 am in News

Local businesses are invited to come along and hear how to buy into multi-national retailer Asda at an upcoming event organised by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber).

‘Exporting: Food for Thought’ is the latest in a series of events under NI Chamber’s ‘Danske Bank Export First’ programme which seeks to inspire innovative, creative and international business through thought leadership and skills development.

Asda’s head of local buying for stores in Northern Ireland and Scotland will be on hand to advise businesses on the supermarket giant’s sourcing policy and how the company has assisted local firms to export.

Representatives from Irwin’s Bakery and Mash Direct will also share their growth journey and how they successfully secured a contract with Asda which led to a significant export opportunity with the major retailer.

Brian Telford, Head of Markets at Danske Bank, said: “Although the UK and Ireland are sometimes seen as smaller players in the agri-food sector globally, the presence of some significant transnational corporations here and the entrepreneurship that is so evident within our indigenous firms enables us to punch above our weight on the world stage.

“We need to take advantage of that reputation and build on the economic fundamentals to grow this significant export opportunity, and companies like Irwin’s Bakery and Mash Direct are an excellent example to other companies in the agri-food sector in Northern Ireland of how to do this.”

Michael McCallion, Head of Local Sourcing for Asda Northern Ireland and Scotland, said: “Since opening in Northern Ireland in 2005, we have developed a strong and growing supply base and now work with over 100 suppliers, large and small, across the island of Ireland. Our aim has been to develop these relationships and provide opportunities for local companies to access new markets – which could mean trading with Asda on a national or international platform.

“We’re delighted that so many of our suppliers have achieved export success over the last number of years – from Irwin’s Bakery and Mash Direct to Finnebrogue and Thompson’s Family Tea – and look forward to advising others about the opportunities to export with Asda at this event.”

The event takes place on 21 August 2014 at 8.30am in the Park Inn by Radisson Belfast. Registrations can be made via the NI Chamber website at www.northernirelandchamber.com.

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