Sausage deal worth £500K

Naomi Jones and Alan McKeown from Doherty & Gray and Tesco NI's Leanne Black are all smiles as they sample some Tesco Finest pork and sweet chilli sausages. Ballymena-based Doherty & Gray is now supplying sausages under the Tesco Finest brand to 30 of the retailer's stores across Northern Ireland.
Naomi Jones and Alan McKeown from Doherty & Gray and Tesco NI's Leanne Black are all smiles as they sample some Tesco Finest pork and sweet chilli sausages. Ballymena-based Doherty & Gray is now supplying sausages under the Tesco Finest brand to 30 of the retailer's stores across Northern Ireland.

Ballymena based meat company Doherty & Gray has secured a significant new listing with supermarket giants Tesco.

The company is now supplying sausages under the Tesco Finest brand to 30 of the retailer’s stores across Northern Ireland.

The listing has increased Doherty & Gray’s annual business with Tesco by 50% and the contract is expected to be worth more than £500,000 per annum to the Co Antrim food firm.

Doherty & Gray, which employs 100 people and has been in business for 61 years, first started to supply Tesco in Northern Ireland 18 years ago.

It has cemented existing jobs and taken on two extra staff as a result of the latest deal with Tesco.

Apart from the Finest sausages, Doherty & Gray supplies Tesco Northern Ireland with 24 other lines, including Hull’s and Prima Valley sausages and Tesco Butcher’s Choice sausages and burgers.

Its famous Hull’s veg roll remains a firm family favourite.

The company invested £30,000 in new equipment, staff training and packaging design on securing the Finest contract.

Alan McKeown, the company’s commercial sales manager, said: “We have a highly skilled workforce and pride ourselves on making the highest quality sausages to be enjoyed by consumers. The Tesco Finest sausages are all made using Northern Ireland pork and beef.”

Tesco spends more than £550million on Northern Ireland products each year.