In a new local supply deal, worth in the region of €100,000, Compass Ireland has signed up to buy Irish grown apples and pears along with a range of fresh fruit juices from established fruit growers, McCann Orchards.
The family-run business, with orchards in Slane, County Meath, and Portadown, County Armagh, has over 50 years’ knowledge and experience of the fresh produce market, supplying major supermarkets, wholesale and catering companies.
Compass Group Ireland, a leading foodservices provider on the island of Ireland, has entered into a two-year business partnership with the award-winning growers. The supply contract is in conjunction with William Tallon of Ready Chef, the Irish-owned produce business that supplies fresh and prepared vegetables, fruits and salads to Compass Ireland.
Additional local sourcing is a goal for the foodservices business, which became the first in its sector to publish a Net Zero sustainability plan in May last year.
Announcing the two-year deal with McCann Orchards, Deirdre O’Neill, Managing Director of Compass Group Ireland, said the business is delighted to have secured quality local supply, in place of its previous contract for imported apples and pears.
“We are delighted to announce this two-year deal with McCann Orchards. Fruit and vegetable produce is our second biggest buying category, and we are thrilled to now have McCanns delicious apples and pears as part of our Irish produce offering.” Deirdre added: “By moving to an Irish grower for seasonal fruit we are ensuring we meet our net zero targets and commitment to reducing imported produce. All of this combined makes our new partnership with McCanns Orchard a recipe for success and I look forward to seeing this new relationship blossom.”
Compass Ireland signed up to both Business in the Community’s Low Carbon Pledge and the UN’s Race to Zero campaign. As part of this commitment, the company is promoting sustainable growing practices among Irish producers.
McCann Orchards recently planted their modern intensive apple and pear orchards, which will be more productive and sustainable under climate change. Bord Bia Quality Assurance certified, the new growing system comprises 1,300 trees per acre, in comparison to traditional Irish orchards, at around 350-500 trees per acre.
With a greener effect on the planet from more resource-efficient and less energy-intensive production, as well as the planting of high-yield varieties.
Oliver McCann of McCann Orchards said: “We are delighted that our commitment to sustainable production methods has helped secure the new supply contract with Compass Ireland. It’s a perfect partnership, with both businesses passionate about quality local food production.”
The foodservice business works with 180 Irish food producers and spends €35m per year on Irish food. Seventy per cent of the food sourced by Compass Ireland for the Irish market is produced here.