Students to be focus of ‘Future is Food’ drive to promote artisan sector

Transition year students are the focus of the ‘Future is Food’ drive to promote Irish artisan foods, launched by the Taste Council of Ireland and Bord Bia.

More than 100 artisan food industry and education representatives attended yesterday’s formal launch at the third national food symposium at Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co Cork. This year’s education module will raise transition year students’ awareness and understanding of the food industry and the artisan sector in particular.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said: “The artisan sector supports 3,000 jobs. The ‘Food is the Future’ module will introduce a new generation of students to the richness of local food and the skills needed to take micro food enterprises to the next level.”

The module is being piloted in a number of secondary schools this September, including: Coláiste Chiaráin in Croom, Co Limerick; Ursuline Secondary School, Thurles; Abbey Secondary School, Tipperary Town; Dublin schools St Laurence College and Alexandra College; and Avondale Community College, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow.

Bord Bia chief executive Aidan Cotter said: “Small food businesses are key contributors to the prosperity of the domestic economy, including rural-based employment, high-value-added production, food tourism, and the development of a culture and image which enhances the brand of all Irish food. Their prosperity and growth not only benefits the individual businesses, it also strengthens the community and the image of Ireland as a provider of high-quality, sustainable food excellence.”

Broadcaster John Bowman chaired yesterday’s event in Ballymaloe. Speakers included: Australian food writer Stephanie Alexander, Danish organic farmer Camilla Plum, Julien Couaillier from Passion Cereales, a French educational model; Alice Waters of Californian restaurant Chez Panisse; Dr Jim Murray of Institute of Technology Ireland; and Ruth Hegarty, Euro Toques.


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