They say there is no substitute for locally sourced food and judging by the introduction of a unique pig producing company this firmly held belief looks like ringing true. And it’s all down to the foundation of the pioneering. Truly Irish Country Foods, which is now making its presence felt locally. he North South Pig Company has big plans for its newly launched venture, Truly Irish Country Food brands.
The company will shortly unveil a big-budget television ad campaign to promote the Truly Irish range of Bord Bia quality marked and approved rashers, sausages and cooked hams to consumers across the country.
“It will take many years of investment in marketing and PR to get this brand to the level we require it to be at,” said Jarlath O’Dwyer, a business consultant who is working with North South Pig Company on the new venture. “It means holding back profits and ploughing them back into PR and advertising and building the brand that way.
When you go down the route of TV and national newspaper advertising, you are looking at big budgets and that will have to come from the profit of the brand and also shareholder funds.” Established in 1999, North South Pig Company comprises 140 pork producers from around the country, who are also shareholders in the company.
Representing a sizable 70 per cent share of the pork production market in Ireland, North South’s aim is to counter fluctuating meat prices and increase the availability of home-sourced pork products in Irish supermarkets. The company works with processors based in Germany, shipping out an average of 600 sows each week. It is a sizable operation, which O’Dwyer believes has the potential to generate revenues of e1 million for Truly Irish in its first year of operation.
Investment in a high-profile TV campaign is part of a wider strategy to go head to head with established competitors like Galtee and Denny from the outset. The company involves its board of directors and shareholders in all key decisions. Consultants have also been brought in to help with national accounts, brand development, marketing, product development and relationship building. Just shy of three months in operation, Truly Irish already employs ten staff, primarily in sales and marketing.
The company’s products are stocked in Supervalu and Superquinn outlets. “The next challenge is to expand the range within those retail chains to include puddings, joints and different types of meat and sausage products, as well as getting listed with Tesco and Dunnes Stores,” said O’Dwyer. “Another challenge is to get into the food service channel, which will mean working closely with major food service distributors.“After that the main focus will be on getting the name out there and getting the consumer to recognise the benefits of consuming the product.”