The start of something special
For Food’s Sake held its first event on the 31 of March in The Sugar Club attracting over 100 food enthusiasts and rewarding them with free tasters along with some food for thought. The evening kicked off with tasters from some great Irish artisan producers. The producers on show were Janet Drew of Janet’s Country Fayre with her wide range of chutneys and relish sauces, Graham Roberts of Connemara Smokehouse with his deliciously delicate smoked tuna, and Mary and Gerry Kelly of Moonshine Organic Dairy with their range of cheeses and yoghurts.
|Full house at The Sugar Club|
After everyone treated their taste buds with some fine food and a drink from the bar the eagerly awaited talk began. Food journalist Aoife Carrigy took the host seat as she raised some relevant issues with the panellists of the evening who were: Suzanne Campbell, journalist, blogger and co-author of Basket Case: What's Happening to Ireland's Food. Pat Smith the General Secretary of the Irish Farmers' Association. Una Fitzgibbon, the Director of Marketing Services for Bord Bia and Graham Roberts as he swapped his apron for a microphone and joined the other panellists on stage.
|Aoife Carrigy (center) and the panelists from left to right: Una|
Fitgibbon, Pat Smith, Suzanna Campbell and Graham Roberts
The title of the evening's discussion was 'The Great Green Hope: where lies the future of Irish food production. Despite the constant doom and gloom lingering over our country the Irish food industry is experiencing growth in exports and farming sectors. Also there is great news for foodies with farmers’ markets, artisan producers and micro beer breweries all on the rise.
The panellists then tackled the complex issues regarding the buying power that certain supermarkets can have over their suppliers. Advice was also given to the audience how to support Irish producers and farmers by buying the right produce in supermarkets.
More controversial issues were also touched on, including the question of potential usage of GMOs in Irish agriculture, which sparked a healthy debate between the audience and the panellists.
There was a lot covered over the two hour discussion: keep an eye on the blog for upcoming postings with more detail on specific areas of discussions. If you didn’t have an opportunity to speak this will be your chance to let your opinion be heard and to continue the debate, so feel free to throw in your tuppence worth and leave a comment or three.
After the talks subsided the enlightened audience were treated with another round of food tasters. Some delicious bread from Rossa Crowe of Le Levain bakery was topped with a delicious cream cheese from Moonshine Organic Dairy and smoked salmon from the Connemara Smokehouse finished with some of Janet’s Country Fayre cranberry relish.
Check back here over the coming weeks for profiles of the producer's showcased at the first For Food's Sake