Food Force Ireland leads the way with virtual showcase across three days

Food Force Ireland leads the way with virtual showcase across three days

2020 saw a virtual first for Food Force Ireland. The annual September supplier showcase at the Culloden Hotel couldn’t happen for the obvious COVID reasons – but Food Force Ireland won’t let that stop the opportunity for vital supplier and retailer interaction.

Going virtual was the perfect solution. For three days in September, Food Force Ireland organised a fantastic programme of speakers and events – all taking place online.

Simple click of a link

By the simple click of a link, retailers and suppliers joined the Food Force Ireland online platform from September 22 to 24th, inclusive.

Food Force Ireland’s Trading Controller Debra Johnston said “In previous years we had a one day trade event, with £1 million worth of business taking place across the day.

“It would start with a lunch for around 300 members and suppliers and would be followed by our annual FFI Supplier of the Year Awards. In the afternoon there would have been up to 90 stands – an opportunity for suppliers and retailers to interact.

“Obviously we couldn’t do that this year so it’s all took place online across three days” explained Debra.

Difficult time

“It’s been a difficult time for local suppliers and retailers, who have all played vital roles throughout the Covid crisis. Both have done an amazing job throughout the pandemic to date, and Food Force Ireland couldn’t be more proud of members and suppliers.

“FFI Retailers have taken on huge responsibility for the wellbeing of both staff and customers, and they have had phenomenal support from suppliers.

“This year we had to embrace technology. Food Force Ireland worked with Savilles to create our digital celebration.

“Each day, from 22nd to 24th September, there was a 90 minute online session. We had a fantastic array of key speakers across the three days, covering everything from Covid to Brexit to Christmas trading opportunities.

“The final day saw a special keynote speech by our chairman Jonathan Crawford, along with the annual FFI Supplier of the Year awards – which this year included a Special Recognition Award for the outstanding person who has gone above and beyond to help the stores during early days of lockdown.”

For full coverage of Food Force Ireland 2020 see our September issue of Neighbourhood Retailer – coming this week!