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NIIRTAMake This July Independence Month For Local Businesses Says NIIRTA
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NIIRTA is backing Independence Month for local independent businesses.

NIIRTA CEO Glyn Roberts and President Paul Stewart with DARD MInister Michele O'Neill launch Independence Week.

NIIRTA CEO Glyn Roberts and President Paul Stewart with DARD MInister Michele O’Neill launch Independence Week.

On 4 July 2013 across Northern Ireland, the public will be encouraged to buy at least one item from their local, independent shop to celebrate Independents Day 2013.

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has launched this year’s Independence Day with the Minister for Agriculture Michelle O’Neill at the Magherafelt store of NIIRTA President Paul Stewart.

This year NIIRTA is asking local shoppers to make a special effort to support local traders throughout the month of July, making every July Independence Month.

In a further move, NIIRTA is also launching today ( 1 July) its Suppliers’ Forum with the aim to improve trading opportunities between its retail, wholesale, producer and supplier members.

NIIRTA President Paul Stewart said: “Independence Day is more than just encouraging consumers to shop independently, it is about celebrating the huge contribution our local traders make to our local economy, local producers and town centres”

“This year we are encouraging consumers not just to make a special effort to shop and explore our local independent retail sector on 4th July but to make July a real independence month. We hope it will be forerunner for Small Business Saturday which will take place on 7th Decemberto kick start Christmas Shopping”

Glyn Roberts NIIRTA Chief Executive said: “In an age of ever more clone towns and multiple stores, independents provide real choice to shoppers in our town and city centres. They are also have been the route to market for many well known local companies such as Mash Direct and Genesis Bakery and continue to do so for so many local producers and manufacturers”

 “Independence Day is the right time to launch our new Supplier Forum to ensure we as business organisation do more to support local suppliers and producers to seek out new trading possibilities with our Retail and Supplier Members. In recent years we have welcomed many local suppliers to the independent sector as members and want to encourage many more to do so”

“The Suppliers’ Forum will involve regular events for producers and suppliers to meet with Retailers and Wholesalers to improve communication and provide greater opportunities to promote new products and service throughout the Supply Chain”

“NIIRTA is fully supporting the recent Agri-Food Board Report Going For Growth and we believe our Suppliers Forum is supportive of its aim of an improved Supply Chain which supports ambitious growth targets in sales and employment”

Speaking at the launch the Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA said:

“I am delighted to launch NIIRTA’s ‘Independence Day’ initiative for 2013 highlighting the very best of our local produce from the north of Ireland. I have long been an advocate of sourcing local food and commend NIIRTA for this initiative.

“While the ever-increasing global demand for food provides great opportunities for our producers, the local market is still the key market outlet for many of our producers and I am pleased that NIIRTA is launching a Suppliers’ Forum to further cement linkages within the supply chain. I have no doubt this initiative will lead to increased trade between members in support of the objectives of the recently produced Going for Growth report.

“I wish NIIRTA and all the independent retailers continued success with this initiative and thank them for their ongoing efforts to bring local food to local communities whilst remaining the heart of our rural towns.”