WEXFORD strawberries are back on the shelves in Tesco, more than three years after the giant supermarket decided to stop ordering Model fruit.
Ballindaggin-based Jimmy Kearns confirmed that the Wexford Fruit Producers ( WFP) began to supply the chain recently at the shop in Wexford. Tesco has ordered strawberries from the same source for strawberries to sell in its shops throughout the South East.
And Jimmy Kearns hoped that before long, he and his colleagues will be providing supplies to the company’s central distribution warehouse, to give consumers all round Ireland a taste of their produce. The move comes just a few months after WFP re-branded their fruit with a new logo.
The breakthrough brings an end to a lengthy stand-off described by some commentators as a boycott, though the term has been disputed by Tesco community liaison officer Michael Sullivan. In a letter to Wexford Borough Council, Sullivan wrote: ‘ Tesco Ireland has never had a boycott of Wexford strawberries in place.’
That news is a source of satisfaction to Jimmy Kearns, one of half a dozen commercial growers in the Wexford Fruit Producers alliance: ‘ Tesco are anxious to have Wexford fruit,’ he reported. ‘ They certainly want to do business with us.’
That was seen in the Tesco store in Wexford, when Peter Donnellan and Eimear O’Connor of WFP were among the many local produces to showcase their wares during an event designed to allow shoppers see where some of their purchases come from.
Others to take part included Drover Meats, the ‘Anna Harvey’ bakery, Bunclody Eggs, Staffords Bakery (Gorey), Wexford Home Produce, Killowen Farm, and Wexford Creamery. A spokesperson for Tesco said this highlights their commitment to the local economy and local producers, and they look forward to continuing to work with them into the future.