Clare producers give retail buyers food for thought

Clare producers give retail buyers food for thought

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Sean Fitzgerald, Cratloe Hills Sheeps Cheese, Linda Earlie, LEO, Clare and Birgitta Hedin Curtin, Burren Smokehouse – Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

Clare’s food and drink producers recently showcased their products to leading names in the Irish food and drink industry as well as some of the country’s most prominent retail buyers.

The showcase, which was hosted by the Irish Quality Food Awards and sponsored by the Local Enterprise Offices of Clare, Limerick and Tipperary, took place at a unique networking event in the Limerick Strand Hotel last week.

Local exhibitors to the event included Meere’s Pork Products, Cratloe Hills Sheep’s Cheese, St Tola Irish Goats Cheese and Burren Smokehouse. Also in attendance were industry experts, key players in the Irish Food and Drink industry plus buyers from leading food retailers such as Aldi Ireland, Tesco Ireland and Urban Coop.

Padraic McElwee, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Clare, said, “The evening was a great success allowing Clare producers to showcase their products whilst also making new business contacts and opportunities.”

“Local Enterprise Office Clare works closely with our artisan food and drink producers, helping them scale up and develop their business.  Network events like this are a key stepping stone to raise awareness of the high quality artisan food produced in Clare. It was great to partner with the Irish Quality Food Awards on this event as the Mid West region has an array of excellent food and drink produce making it a natural fit with the awards which are synonymous with the finest quality products,” he added.

Helen Lyons, who heads up the Irish Quality Food Awards, added: “Ireland is world renowned for having incredible ingredients and, within the island, the counties of Clare, Limerick and Tipperary are real foodie destinations. This event allowed buyers to meet producers on their doorsteps and find favourite ingredients for their stores and restaurants, while networking with other professionals and exchange expert views and opinions. It was a fantastic success!”

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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