Three local food companies have been listed by Rail Gourmet to supply products for catering operations on Iarnrod Eireann, (Irish Rail), train services throughout the Republic of Ireland.
Invest NI’s Food Sector Marketing Advisor in the Republic of Ireland, Shane McArdle, lined up a number of local food companies to present their products to Rail Gourmet buyers who subsequently selected the following suppliers:
The Bite Group, Enniskillen, for a range of sandwiches and baguettes
Strathroy Dairies, Omagh, for milk
McCann’s, Craigavon, for a selection of fruit juices
Following the ‘meet the buyer’ event, the successful companies were then involved in detailed negotiations with Rail Gourmet on its specific requirements.
Welcoming the business won by the three local food and drinks companies, Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI’s Food Director, said: “These contracts have been secured from one of the most important foodservices operations in the Republic and are very good news for the companies involved. They are also a significant boost for the local food industry.
“The contracts provide a platform that the successful companies can use to develop their business with Rail Gourmet. In addition, the ‘meet the buyer’ event introduced Rail Gourmet to a wide range of local suppliers. We will continue to encourage this through our ongoing contacts with Rail Gourmet.
“Our ‘meet the buyer’ programme is one of our most successful initiatives and has helped many smaller food and drink companies to develop contacts with key procurement executives in a very wide range of retail and food services organisations in Ireland, Great Britain, other parts of Europe and India.”
Rail Gourmet took over the complete supply chain, logistics and on-board operation for Irish Rail in March 2007. It now employs 180 people based at ten locations throughout Ireland. Irish Rail carries around 43 million passengers in its intercity, suburban and commuter services.
Established in 1994, Rail Gourmet is totally focused on the European rail industry, including Iarnrod Eireann. It specialises in all aspects of rail catering - from detailed logistics and supply chain management, to the highly personalised care and attention required to run significant on-board operations, which it does exceptionally well in Ireland.
In addition to trolley services, a wide variety of hot and cold products are also offered from the buffets, and on some services the Bistro menu is available. The Bistro menu is available for breakfast and lunch and consists of a rotating menu where fresh food is cooked to order and served to passengers in the dining/restaurant carriages. Rail Gourmet also provides a number of non-catering services such as Train Care, (in-transit and turnaround train cleaning), and added value management information systems.
Part of the SSP Group, Rail Gourmet has extensive operations in the UK, Belgium, Norway, Finland, and also on Eurostar.