Strong Northern Ireland food presence at National Ploughing Championships

Eight Northern Ireland companies will be showing an extensive range of innovative products at the Irish National Ploughing Championships in Carlow from 17-19 September.

The companies will feature in the Northern Ireland Food Pavilion hosted by promotion body Food NI in association with Invest NI, the region’s business development agency.

Products on show from Northern Ireland will include cheese, balsamic vinegars, flavoured peanut snacks, a black butter spread, seafood, popcorn and fruit crisp snacks, authentic Italian ketchup and pasta sauces, and home baked products.

Most of the participating companies are already doing business in the Republic of Ireland and will be launching novel products at the event. Several have won Blas na hEireann and UK Great Taste Awards for quality and outstanding taste.

The participation is part of Food NI’s support for the Taste the Island showcase of food and drink in Northern Ireland and the Republic being led by Failte Ireland and Tourism NI.

Michele Shirlow, Food NI’s chief executive, says: “We are delighted to organise this showcase of Northern Ireland food and drink in the Republic as part of our support for the exciting Taste the Island initiative. We appreciate backing from Invest NI for our presentation at the National Ploughing Championships, now among the most popular and successful events on the island of Ireland.

 “Encouraging and assisting smaller food and drink companies in particular to explore opportunities developing in the Republic of Ireland, the largest export market for Northern Ireland producers, is a key element in our business strategy and especially against the current Brexit background.

“The event is an excellent springboard for our companies seeking to either increase existing or win new sales in such an easily accessible market.

“What this important showcase does is to offer our smaller companies an unrivalled opportunity to display and sample their products to an anticipated audience of around 250,000 people. I am confident that our participating companies will do worthwhile business during the show and also afterwards through leads generated in the Republic. This is the fourth food and drink show we’ve been involved in with Invest NI in the Republic so far this year,” adds Mrs Shirlow.

In addition to the trade stands, the event’s features include an innovation arena, the National Brown Bread Championship, demonstrations and workshops. The Northern Ireland group will be among 1,700 exhibitors.

Northern Ireland companies in the Food Pavilion organised by Food NI in association with Invest NI:

Ballylisk of Armagh Cheese, Tandragee, Co Armagh – Triple cream cheeses

Burren Balsamics, Richhill, Co Armagh – balsamic vinegars

Food Stories, Belfast, Co Antrim – fruit crisps and popcorn

Granny’s Fayre, Armagh, Co Armagh – home baked goods

Irish Black Butter, Portrush, Co Antrim – sweet/savoury spread and peanut spread

Lecale Harvest, Killough – seafood including oysters and pate

Noisy Nuts, Ballygowan, Co Down – flavoured peanut snacks to accompany craft beers

Peppup Sauces, Portaferry, Co Down – authentic Italian ketchup and pasta sauces