Mash Direct’s Clare Forster has recently completed Asda’s first Supplier Development Academy to help Mash Direct expand its in-store presence across the UK.


The Supplier Development Academy (SDA) is a joint initiative between Asda and Invest NI to work with companies that have high growth potential to help create jobs in Northern Ireland.

Speaking after the course, Clare Forster said, “Through the SDA we have had access to theoretical and practical advice from Asda to help Mash Direct develop our presence with them in store and on the shelf. We will now be putting the learning into practice to grow our mutual business locally, regionally and nationally.”

DETI Minister Arlene Foster said: “Northern Ireland has much to be proud of in terms of its food & drink industry. Our companies, both large and small, are now competing and winning nationally because of the quality, wholesomeness and originality of their products and the strength of their commitment to excellent customer services.”

Michael McCallion, Asda’s Head of Local Sourcing for Northern Ireland and Scotland regards the SDA as the chance to take its already successful partnership with food suppliers to the next level:

“As a retailer Asda is totally committed to the NI food sector. We’ve invested over £370million in the sector since opening here in 2005 and want to push this even further. We’re proud to be taking a lead by helping some of our top companies and brands strengthen their understanding of retail, build their relationship with our buying team and focus throughout on what customers want.”