230206 Food Shack with Finnebrogue_MashDirect

The two companies have agreed to produce food bundles for their workforces, comprising a balance of veg-based and protein-based products

Finnebrogue Artisan and Mash Direct have partnered for a new project to support employees through the cost of living crisis.

The two Northern Irish suppliers have agreed to produce food bundles for their workforces as part of their Food Shack initiative, comprising a balance of veg-based and protein-based products.

The bundles should save workers around £100 per month off the average food bill, the pair said.

Employees will be able to collect food bundles valued at £25 every week from ‘Food Shacks’ that are open for a few hours every day at Mash Direct’s site at Comber and at Finnebrogue in Downpatrick.

“The Food Shack is a way for the food industry to work together while energy prices continue to drive inflation,” said Clare Foster, head of marketing at Mash Direct.

It comes in response to an ongoing cost of living crisis, with latest Office for National Statistics figures showing food prices rose by 16.9% in 2022 while electricity prices rose by 65.4% and gas prices by 128.9%.

Finnebrogue produces sausages, bacon, ham and a range of plant-based foods in Downpatrick – which this makes up the sources of protein within the food bundles. Mash Direct produces over 50 farm fresh vegetable dishes from its family farm in Comber, providing workers with their 5 a day in the bundle.

Finnebrogue also introduced free breakfast and lunch options to all staff at the start of 2022 to guarantee a warm meal each day. It also extended hybrid working with optional work from home days to help reduce the fuel burden from travel costs.

“Finnebrogue employs 1,200 people across fours sites in Downpatrick, and over the past 12 months, we’ve heard how our people are making spending adjustments, cutting back and really tightening belts – and we essentially wanted to help,” said Chris Overend, Finnebrogue head of HR.

This next stage was described as going “one step further”, by Overend, as the food bundles can help employees to put “good food on the table, even in the toughest weeks”.