Eight leading Irish artisan food and drink producers hope to expand their export channels on foot of meetings with leading UK retailers in London yesterday.
The Cork-based firms all had one-to-one meetings with buyers from Ocado, Budgens, Booths, Waitrose and Selfridges at the International Food & Drink Event in London, one of the world’s largest food fairs.
Hosted by Cork County Council and South Cork Enterprise Board, the group is exhibiting again today and tomorrow. They are gathered under the ‘Taste Cork/Taste Ireland’ brand.
South Cork Enterprise Board head Sean O’Sullivan, said: “Regional marketing is a trend that has developed in many European countries in recent years and it is commonplace in places like France, Spain and Italy.
“The IFE is one of the key events on the global food calendar. Being on our doorstep, in London, it is an excellent opportunity for Irish food companies to showcase the world-class products they have to offer.”
The companies include the Franciscan Well Brewery, Virginia Harvest, Simplee, Healy’s Honey, Kinsale Gourmet, Ballymaloe Country Relish, Green Saffron, and Carrigaline Farmhouse Cheese.
Ger Power, Cork County Council head of finance, said the food industry supports jobs in communities throughout the region.
“County Cork has always been at the forefront of the high-end food sector in Ireland. Our farm produce, meat and seafood, together with our many artisan, gourmet and organic producers and our award winning restaurants have put the county on the map as a food and tourism destination.
“Having a Cork presence at prestigious events like IFE 2013 plays a very important role in the development of our tourism and food sectors and will help to create sustainable jobs growth right across the whole county.”
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