Local seasonal produce brand offered in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland fresh vegetable packer Sparky Pac has launched a new brand of exclusively local, seasonal produce, following extensive market research.

Dig In, thought to be the first marketing initiative of its kind in the province, will initially feature locally grown carrots and parsnips, packed in 1kg and 500g transparent bags, and in a 500g mixed tray.

"Dig In is designed to make it easier for people in Northern Ireland to buy local produce," said Sparky Pac marketing director Gwen McKee.

"We decided to take this step, which represented quite an investment for the business, because of approaches from shoppers asking us about where products are grown."

He added: " Our market research indicated the strength of demand for genuine local produce and also considerable confusion over what is local on the shelves. They wished, where possible, to eat locally produced, seasonal vegetables.

The family-owned firm grows 100ha of its own carrots and parsnips near its County Down base, as well as cauliflowers and Savoy and sweetheart cabbages. It supplies Tesco, Sainsbury's and Spar.

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