A unique networking event has been organised by The Irish Quality Food Awards which brought together the best of Irish food and drink from the Mid-West to put the region firmly on the Irish food map.
The evening proved to be hugely successful among food and drink producers who showcased their high-quality products, caterers, writers, retail buyers and other members of the Irish food and drink industry, who had the chance to try some amazing local produce.
Showcasing exciting local ingredients, from award-winning black puddings to delicious sheep and goats cheese, the event also included local beer and cider, smoked salmon that is world renowned, fresh eggs from West Limerick, and much more besides.
Exhibitors to the event included Treaty City Brewing, Meere’s Pork Products, Emerald Oils and Burren Smokehouse, amongst others, and it was attended by members of the University of Limerick, Aldi Ireland, Tesco Ireland, Urban Coop and Jane Milton Consultancy, and many other highly esteemed members of the Irish food and drink industry.
Sponsored by the Local Enterprise Offices of Limerick, Clare and Tipperary, it took place at the Limerick Strand Hotel, where attendees also enjoyed a breath-taking view of the city.
The Local Enterprise Offices of Limerick, Clare and Tipperary are part of a network of 31 offices across Ireland offering advice, information and support to those starting up or growing their business. As part of its work the Local Enterprise Office also engages with the food and drink industry in particular with small and artisan food and drink producers in helping them scale up and develop their business.
The producers had provided their excellent ingredients for renowned local chef and Executive Chef at The Strand Hotel, Tom Flavin, to put together mouth-watering canapés, for the attendees’ delectation.
Beth Treleaven, Events Manager, Irish Quality Food Awards commented: “It was a fantastic evening and it demonstrated just how important networking is within the food industry. We are incredibly proud we were in a position to bring together such a fantastic range of food and drink producers, who had the opportunity to showcase their amazing products to various members of the industry, from other SMEs to some of the biggest retailers and food and drink experts in the country.”
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 Limerick, Clare 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!”
Eamon Ryan, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Limerick said: “The Local Enterprise Offices here in Limerick, and across the region were delighted to sponsor this special evening to coincide with the occasion of the Irish Quality Food Awards judging taking place in Limerick.”
“The evening was a great success allowing producers from across the region to showcase their products whilst also making new business contacts and opportunities. 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 & drink produce making it a natural fit with the awards which are synonymous with the finest quality products. We are also delighted that the Irish Quality Food Awards have chosen Limerick as their new home and look forward to working with them again.”