The Food Heartland of Northern Ireland

 

 

Ready for 2016 NI Year of Food and Drink Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

The Borough of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon is the Food Heartland of Northern Ireland home of passionate producers and quality creators.

The region is characterised by a rich environment of good agricultural land, making it the natural home to an abundance of specialist artisan food and drink producers and household names including: Tayto, Moy Park, Irwins Bakery, Cottage Catering, Linwoods, Fane Valley, Whites and Wilsons Country to name a few. The area is also home to two of the three world renowned products in Northern Ireland, namely Lough Neagh eels and Armagh bramley apples.

Working closely with local agri-food and drink producers, the Council has created a new Food Heartland Forum, with its own Food Heartland brand.

The Food Heartland brand was launched mid-January with local producers, Tourism NI, Food NI and Taste of Ulster. Mayor Cllr DarrynCausby comments: This launch marks the start of an exciting year for the agri-food industry, our Borough and Northern Ireland. 2016 will be a busy year and we are keen to grasp this golden opportunity to champion the sector. Last year eight local companies scooped 12 Irish Food Awards and 11 local companies won 18 Great Taste Awards, highlighting the quality of our produce and passion of our people.

The Food Heartland Forum

The Forum showcases the fantastic produce on offer and is proud to tell the world about local food heritage. As Food critic, Charles Campion said at the last Food Heartland workshop, The key to building on the NI Year of Food and Drink 2016 is to surprise people and continually exceed expectations. Attitudes to food are changing and improving, but the secret recipe for good food is to keep it simple good food cannot be too simple.

The Forum is working closely with Food NI, Tourism NI, and local event organisers to celebrate local produce throughout 2016 NI Year of Food &

Drink in a number of ways:

   Celebrating local food and drink at key local events

   Presenting special visitors to the Borough with Food Heartland Hampers packed with delicious local produce

   Funding a Food Heartland Export Support Programme

   Developing an Armagh Bramley Apple Supply Chain project to champion this unique product with world renowned status

   Food Heartland Forum workshops throughout the year with the producers setting the agenda

   Food Heartland Awards, hosted by the Lord Mayor in the spring to celebrate our quality creators and passionate producers

To get involved with the Food Heartland Forum or for information on how council can support the agri-food sector, please contact Sarah-Jane Macdonald, Economic Development Officer, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council on 028 3831 2572 or email sarahjane.macdonald@armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk

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