Irish potato supplier signs €62.5m deal with Tesco

Dublin fresh foods group has been a supplier of the supermarket group for two decades

Dublin-based fresh food business Country Crest has extended its contract to supply potatoes and onions to Tesco in a €62.5 million deal over the next 2½ years.

The family-owned company, run by brothers Gabriel and Michael Hoey, has signed a deal to supply the supermarket chain with 36,000 tonnes annually of own-brand potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes until September 2022.

Country Crest also sources supplies for the retailer from a further 50 farmers. Tesco and its supplier said the deal would give “confidence” to those growers.

"This offers our business, our work colleagues and our network of professional growers some very welcome security into the future," said Gabriel Hoey.

Country Crest, which has been a supplier of Tesco for two decades, employs 120 staff, and its north Dublin production and packing facility. Hoey Agri, the parent company of Country Crest, had sales last year of €54.7 million and made a profit of €2.8 million.

Tesco has been keen to highlight efforts it has made to support Irish food suppliers since the Covid-19 crisis spawned a liquidity crisis for Irish SMEs last month. The retailer said it “is very conscious of the pressure that the agri-business sector is under due to Covid-19, with non-retail markets disappearing for several sectors”.