The takeover of the Superquinn chain is causing concern among its fruit and vegetable suppliers, some of who have been doing business with it for decades.
Through the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), they are seeking “firm commitments” from the new owner, Select Retail Holdings, that their contracts will be continued.
The growers, based mainly in Counties Dublin and Wexford, supply the chain with some €20m worth of fruit and vegetables annually.
IFA spokesman David Rodgers said: “There is a lot of concern, given the uncertainty created by the change of ownership. These are specialist growers, who have supplied Superquinn for up to 20 years in some cases.
“They have invested significant amounts of money to ensure the chain gets top quality produce that is fully traceable.”
IFA president John Dillon has been officially notified of the change of ownership and Feargal Quinn, founder of the chain, has also written to several suppliers reassuring them that business continues as usual. But the consortium of Irish businessmen that makes up Select Retail Holdings has not contacted anyone so far, it is understood.
According to a company spokesman, the €450m takeover has still to be officially cleared by the Irish Competition Authority. But the IFA’s Rodgers said he wanted the new owners to deal urgently with the contract guarantees being sought by growers.
“This is a critical time of year when growers are planning for the new season. They need to know where they stand before the busy planting period.”
Anthony Garvey