Cork & Kerry Food Forum
Cork & Kerry Food Forum 2014
On the 30th June 2014 I, along with 3,999 other people, attended The Cork & Kerry Food Forum. More than 60 artisan producers from across Cork and Kerry gathered at the City Hall in Cork to showcase their products and what a display it was!
The early morning session allowed buyers for SuperValu a chance to meet participating producers and taste their products. This was followed by industry talks covering topics such as ‘The importance of the Irish Food Sector’ (Simon Coveney, T. D. Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food), ‘the changing marketplace’ (Aidan Cotter, CEO Bord Bia) and SuperValu’s support of start up and local food businesses (Martin Kelleher & Eamon Howell).
Bord Bia, SuperValu and the County Enterprise Boards joined forces in September 2013 to promote a new training programme aimed at supporting and nurturing start up food businesses called ‘Food Academy Start’. Eamon Howell announced a second training programme called ‘Food Academy Advance’ which is a step up from the Food Start programme providing guidance on production management and product distribution.
A small West Cork bakery, Wildberry Glutenfree Products, won the inaugural ‘Food Sensory Experience Award’, sponsored by Sensory Research Ltd (SRL). Yawl Bay Cooked Irish Crab Claws and Harty’s Preserves also won SRL certificates for food excellence.
In the afternoon the public (and prospective customers) got the opportunity to taste and buy foods from companies at different stages of development from the Cork and Kerry region.
Elbowing my way through the throng of salivating foodies, I spoke to 53 of the 60 food companies present and asked them how well prepared they were for the 13th December FIC deadline.
The results (see chart) showed that 28% had completed updating their labels to the new regulation, 63% were in the process of doing so and the rest had yet to start. Notwithstanding that many of these companies were relatively new enterprises with a high degree of support, I have to wonder how representative these findings are of the rest of Irish food companies?
Thanks to all the food companies who patiently answered my questions during a very busy afternoon. The food was great, the atmosphere was animated and the people did come! Well done to all involved.
FIC: Food Information to Consumers regulation (EU 1169/2001), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:304:0018:0063:EN:PDF
Local Enterprise Office, Cork North and West.
Local Enterprise Office, Kerry. https://www.localenterprise.ie/Kerry/
Food Academy Start Programme for Small Food Businesses, https://www.localenterprise.ie/SouthCork/Training-Events/Management-Development-/Food-Academy-Start-Programme/Food-Academy-Start-Programme-brochure.pdf
Bord Bia marketing support for small food businesses. http://www.bordbiavantage.ie/Pages/default.aspx
SuperValu supports job creation
Sensory Research Ltd. http://www.srlresearch.com/