Next generation farmers learn first hand from Asda

Next generation farmers learn first hand from Asda

A group of NI’s top farming talent – and future industry leaders – benefited from a behind the scenes insight into the workings of Asda’s local operation.

Eighteen representatives from the UFU’s Next Generation Forum visited Asda in Portadown to better understand the complexities and challenges faced by the leading supermarket which has 17 stores and a distribution centre in NI.

Thanking the group for their interest and time, Asda’s Snr Director for NI, George Rankin said: “As a business which has always prioritised its commitment to the local agri-food sector, we were delighted to welcome this group of highly informed ‘next gen’ farmers to our store.

“Their interest was obvious – not just from a farming perspective, but in terms of our entire operation, including how we approach sustainability and minimise our environmental impact.

“Central to our discussion was the supply chain and how it works on a day-to-day basis to ensure we deliver for our customers, within their budgets, on a 24/7 basis. It is vital that we ensure this two-way communication channel remains open so we are all better informed.”

Commenting on the benefits of the visit, James McCluggage, Policy Manager of the UFU said: “This was a highly informative and interesting tour that I would encourage all UFU members to try and do.

“It provided a fascinating insight in how a supermarket works – such a slick just in time operation. It was also particularly useful to see how Asda is ever changing to drive efficiencies whilst meeting new customer demands and buying habits, and also  working towards being  more environmentally sustainable .

“As a group we were particularly pleased to see Asda’s support for local agri-food companies and its genuine commitment to buy and source local.”

Caption: The team of leading farmers from the UFU’s Next Generation Forum are pictured during their visit to Asda Portadown, along with hosts George Rankin,  Snr Director for Asda NI, and Joe McDonald, Asda’s Corporate Affairs Manager for NI.