19 May 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Prior to COVID-19 the Beara Distillery in Castletownbere, West Cork, was already a member of SuperValu’s Food Academy programme
The Cork headquarted SuperValu – supermarket franchise – have announced that it will make ‘StaySafe’, an Irish produced hand sanitiser available to staff across its 223 stores. ‘StaySafe’ is a high-quality hand sanitiser being produced by Beara Distillery, who are better known as an award-winning gin producer based in West Cork.
Under the terms of a €250,000 supplier agreement with Beara Distillery, SuperValu has secured supply of 27,000 litres of the StaySafe hand sanitiser, which will be used as part of its rigorous in-store sanitising requirements for staff StaySafe was developed in accordance to the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, using 80% alcohol.
The introduction of the StaySafe hand sanitiser, which augments SuperValu’s existing hand sanitiser provision, is one in a series of in-store safety and social distancing measures that the retailer has implemented across its store network. SuperValu was the first Irish food retailer to introduce plexiglass at tills and to facilitate the increased contactless payment threshold of €50 to protect staff and shoppers during the COVID-19 crisis.
The StaySafe agreement with Beara Distillery also underlines hand sanitiser and sourcing local produce wherever possible. Beara, which produces its distinctive, high-quality Ocean Gin at the Beara Distillery in Castletownbere, West Cork, is a member of SuperValu’s pioneering Food Academy programme.
The innovative food start-up programme sees SuperValu partner with Bord Bia and Local Enterprise Offices to provide emerging Irish food businesses with their all-important first listing with a grocery retailer plus dedicated training and development plans. The Food Academy has already supported over 600 food start-ups.
Beara Distillery was established in 2017 by the Power family, who wanted to produce a gin that reflected the maritime heritage of the Beara Peninsula. Beara Ocean Gin, which is blended with sugar kelp seaweed and the fuschia bud, west Cork’s iconic flower and infused with Atlantic salt water, has won a number of awards, including being voted Best Irish Gin late last year.
Commenting on the development of the StaySafe hand sanitiser, Valerie, Eileen and John Power from Beara Distillery said:
“Covid-19 has made businesses across Ireland change their focus and think about how they can respond to new challenges. We felt that there was an urgent need for Beara to assist in any way we could in combatting the spread of coronavirus, and we decided to produce an affordable, high quality hand sanitiser that will help keep people safe throughout the pandemic. Working with SuperValu, we want to make sure that their staff StaySafe.”
Commenting on the supplier agreement with Beara, Managing Director of SuperValu, Martin Kelleher said:
“We’re delighted to be making available StaySafe, an Irish-made hand sanitiser, to our colleagues I’d also like to commend Beara for using their expertise to develop a high-quality, innovative product that will protect the public. SuperValu has worked closely with Beara Distillery since they entered the Food Academy programme and their ability to produce StaySafe underlines again the power of supporting local business and suppliers.”