West Limerick food and tourism businesses hungry for collaboration

  • West Limerick Food Destination (Pic Marie Keating)
West Limerick Food Group. (Pic Marie Keating)

The 2021/2022 West Limerick Food Series, a comprehensive networking and training programme designed to inspire and develop the food sector and food tourism industry by fostering collaboration between businesses in the region, has been announced.

The second phase of the West Limerick Food Series will start on Wednesday 17 February 2021.

West Limerick Wednesday features a series of free networking and training modules delivered by The Discovery Partnership on behalf of West Limerick Resources CLG and is open to businesses and individuals committed to showcasing and nurturing the food/ drink sector and food tourism industry in the West Limerick area.

The first half of the programme will be delivered online and sessions cover a range of subjects including:

  • Building the West Limerick Food tourism brand and network
  • Organising food festivals and innovative alternatives
  • Food tourism and funding growth
  • Monetising the West Limerick Food brand
  • Immersion in the Waterford Greenway tourist trail

The networking and training initiative will be a blend of workshops with expert trainers, guest speakers and interactive discussion and is suitable for, but not limited to, food/ drink producers and growers, café owners, restaurateurs and chefs, hoteliers, B&B owners, tour guides/ operators, retailers, publicans, tourist attractions and food/ drink enthusiasts.

Each module is followed up by optional online support clinics for interested participants, aimed at progressing collaborative opportunities such as events and marketing campaigns.

The latter half of the programme will include face to face training workshops and field trips, Covid-19 permitting, with more subjects being covered:

  • Working in clusters
  • Creating a winning artisan food and drink proposition
  • Creating social media and PR opportunities
  • Group Showcase Event

Speaking about the second phase of the West Limerick Food Series, Caitriona Scully, West Limerick Resources CLG said, 

“As a result of the success of the first phase of the West Limerick Food Series, which took place in 2019, West Limerick Resources CLG are delighted to have secured funding under the LEADER Food Initiative delivered by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Agriculture to further develop the food sector and food tourism industry in the area.  We are confident that the combination of training and networking opportunities will bear fruit for the locality not only in the short term, but for many years to come.” 

The first West Limerick Food Series culminated in a long table feast at which guests were introduced to the #TasteTheHistory concept whilst enjoying a menu created by local chefs using local ingredients.  The farmyard barn venue was testimony to the innovation and creativity that the programme workshops inspired and was made possible as a result of group collaboration.

This year’s West Limerick Food Series training provider, The Discovery Partnership, boasts an experienced team of experts who have facilitated a number of food and food tourism projects, working closely with government bodies including regional development agencies, Leader companies, LEOs, Bord Bia and Fáilte Ireland. Sharon Noonan, leading food and drink consultant and media expert, will act as programme coordinator. The Newcastle West native has been an advocate for the food and drink industry for several years and has an in depth knowledge of the local culinary landscape thanks to her consultancy business and as a presenter on the local food and drink radio programme, Best Possible Taste.  

Participation on the West Limerick Food Series programme is free and registration is required. For more information and/ or to register, visit the West Limerick Food Series on Eventbrite or email westlimerickfood@gmail.com.

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Treaty Stone Limerick. Photo Piotr Machowczyk