WINNING last year’s award for Marketing and PR Effectiveness at the Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence has been a positive experience for Shoprite.
The company’s marketing manager Amanda Noble accepted the award on behalf of the company and took the opportunity to remind those in attendance that when shopping we always have a choice, it’s just that in today’s post-VAT agreement world some choices are better for our economy than others.
It proved an important platform for the company, which is committed to ensuring it does as much business as possible on island to ensure the Manx economy reaps the benefits.
‘Winning the award definitely raised the profile of the importance of spending with local businesses,’ said Amanda, who spoke about the ‘re-circulation effect’ of spending with Manx domiciled companies. ‘The people in the audience got it and for weeks afterwards I had people coming up to me saying “I didn’t realise about this whole thing that if you shop with Manx businesses the money multiplies many times over within the economy and provides jobs, future investment and even public services”.’
She explained: ‘Every payment made to a local business safeguards Manx jobs and earns the island an even greater share of VAT revenue when that is allocated each year. In the current economy people really need to think more about where they spend their hard-earned cash – their own jobs may depend on it! With the work I have been doing over the last two years on this I have personally certainly become much more aware of trying to support local companies.’
Shoprite has 12 stores across the island and employs more than 700 staff. In addition, it works with more than 160 Manx suppliers.
It is currently spending £10m on a private sector regeneration programme that has seen major store investment in Port Erin, Peel, St Paul’s in Ramsey and Douglas, much of which is designed to sell more Manx produced food.
The company supports local producers by stocking their products in-store and marketing them island-wide. For instance, all of the pork sold by the company is outdoor reared and comes from farmer Shaun Dean at Ballamodha.
‘It has that traceability, which I think is fantastic,’ said Amanda. ‘As well as the island having very rigorous safety and security regulation, the best part is that it tastes far better than imported pork!’
They are also always looking for new products to stock and their Manx produce buyer can provide advice on packaging and pricing and very soon Shoprite are launching their next initiative to grow the island’s agri-food business further by replacing imports with Manx produced foods.
‘Did you know,’ said Amanda, ‘that over 90 per cent of the food consumed on the island is imported?
‘In replacing this with home produced foods we can create jobs, support the economy, reduce our carbon footprint and eat fresher, more naturally reared food – so many wins on so many levels.
‘Manx Food Heroes needs to take a much greater profile in the psyche of our people.’ Amanda said the company saw the Awards for Excellence as a great stage from which to promote it.
‘I just thought the whole night was fantastic, very professional, so well-run,’ she said.
‘It’s like gathering the best of the Isle of Man all into one room.’