Quality from Northern Ireland at BBC Good Food Show

Nov 23, 2009

Award winning products from Northern Ireland will be showcased on Stand M130 at the BBC Good Food Show, 25-29 November, at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Featuring in the ‘Northern Ireland Naturally’ presentation hosted by Invest Northern Ireland will be a broad range of local products including health foods, gourmet beef and poultry and cheeses.

Among the six companies on the first ever Invest NI stand at BBC Good Food are three specialising in healthy and organic products, Kestrel Foods of Craigavon which supplies snacks such as dried fruits, nuts and seeds from organic and Fair Trade sources; Linwood Foods of Armagh, a leading processor of Omega 3-rich flaxseed and shelled hemp; and White’s of Tandragee, a manufacturer of organic porridge oats.

White’s and Fivemiletown Creamery secured Great Taste Awards this year from the UK Guild of Fine Food for quality and innovative products, Fivemiletown also picked up nine awards for its products at the recent International Cheese Awards held at Nantwich in England.  

All the companies on the Invest NI stand have significant business outside the UK and Ireland. Doherty and Gray, for example, the Ballymena based beef, lamb and pork producer, supplies gourmet pork sausages to the Carrefour supermarkets in Spain. It also has business in other European markets from both retail and foodservice customers. Western Brand in Lisnaskea is a leading supplier of fresh and processed chicken to customers in Great Britain and Ireland.

Fivemiletown’s customers include Wal-Mart in the US and Galeries Layfayette in France, which lists brie from the County Tyrone based company.

Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI’s Food Director, commenting on the Northern Ireland showcase at BBC Good Food, said: “Food and drink in Northern Ireland is now a £3 billion industry which has become the region’s biggest manufacturing sector.

“Almost 17 per cent of its products are sold outside Northern Ireland, with Great Britain now accounting for 40 per cent of total sales. It is also a major contributor to the Northern Ireland economy both in terms of added value products, employment and research and development. As a result of this investment in R&D and exports, food and drink is now one of Northern Ireland’s most quality focused and innovation-led industries.

“Increasingly our food and drink companies are succeeding in global markets from the US to Asia and the Middle East. This global focus is represented on the Invest NI BBC Good Food presentation in the shape of companies supplying products such as cheese, oats and healthy snacks to the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Spain, Denmark, France, and the Netherlands.  Today, food and drink from Northern Ireland has become a global business with a fine reputation for quality and innovation,” he added.

This year’s BBC Good Food Show, 25–29 Nov, will feature the busiest ever schedule to entice food lovers with a mix of celebrity chefs, live demos, opportunities to have-a-go, festive drinks, seasonal foods, and a huge selection of award-winning UK producers. New features include an interactive ‘MasterChef Experience’, alongside visitor favourites including Henrietta Green’s FoodLoversBritain.com Fair. Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, James Martin and The Hairy Bikers, recent visitors to Northern Ireland, will be cooking live in the Supertheatre sponsored by Sainsbury’s.

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