Belfast Telegraph

Karro wins Henderson Wholesale’s Supplier of the Year award at Balmoral Show

By Jenny Kirkham

Cookstown pork manufacturer, Karro has been named Henderson Wholesale’s Overall Local Supplier of the Year at the company’s awards held at the Balmoral Show.

Henderson Wholesale, owners of the SPAR and EUROSPAR franchises in Northern Ireland, runs the awards scheme, now in its third year, to mark the excellent produce, practices and ranges of the companies it works with.

The judging panel of the Local Supplier of the Year awards included Professor Chris Elliott, Professor of Food Safety and Director of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen's University; Freda Magill, UFU Rural Affairs Committee Chairperson; UTV business editor Jamie Delargy and agriculture journalist Richard Wright.

Karro, which operates from Molesworth Road in Cookstown, supplies a range of products including sausages, bacon and sliced cooked meat to Henderson Wholesale and showed impressive double digit growth in its business with the company in 2014, which has continued into 2015.

Judges were impressed by Karro’s efforts to ensure Henderson’s warehouse receives only the freshest of products, therefore helping to avoid wastage, as well as its investment in innovative technology to audit products, ensure quality and capture orders.

Other winners were Willowbrook Foods in the Enjoy Local Supplier of the Year category, also runner up in the Overall Supplier of the Year category, while Irwin’s Bakery took the Tomorrow Matters Award, Allied Bakeries was named Best Direct to Store Supplier and Mash Direct took home the Brand Innovation Award.

Irwin’s Bakery was also highly commended in the Best Direct to Store Supplier and Brand Innovation categories, while Allied Bakeries was highly commended in the Enjoy Local Supplier category.

Neal Kelly, Henderson Wholesale’s Fresh Food Director, said: “We work with around 240 local suppliers and we were keen to award those providing the very highest gold standard service.

“Sourcing the finest fresh, local, traceable food is really important to us and sourcing locally means that we continue to support our local suppliers and that’s great news for our economy too.”

The SPAR arena, a new addition to Balmoral this year, hosted an array of entertainment throughout the Show’s three days, with visitors able to sample SPAR’s new ‘enjoy local’ range of fresh food, enter a competition to win two ‘Ride On’ John Deere Tractors and enjoy family fun in a new children’s play area.

Paddy Doody, Sales and Marketing Director at Henderson Wholesale, said: “The Balmoral Show is one of the most important events for the agri-community in Northern Ireland each year and we are delighted that the SPAR brand has such a strong presence there.

“Initiatives at the Show like the Local Suppliers Awards, our SPAR arena and our ‘enjoy local’ marquee help to strengthen our links with the agri-food industry as we encourage our shoppers to enjoy local produce as well as enjoying key local events.”

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