Fivemiletown Cheese chosen for gala event in London

Fivemiletown Creamery’s unique goat’s milk cheese has been selected for the gala dinner that will be one of the highlights of the International Food Exhibition (IFE) in London on 18-21 March.

The company’s Cooneen branded cheese will feature on the cheese board at the dinner organised jointly by UK Trade and Investment and the Food from Britain organisation.  Over 20 international buyers will be attending the networking dinner in one of London’s most prestigious restaurants on 18th March.

Among the buyers will be top executives from major purchasing organisations in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. UK companies can also attend the dinner.

Cooneen was selected following a request to Invest NI for a local farmhouse style cheese producer taking part in the agency’s stand at IFE. The dinner opportunity is the latest in a string of successes for the Northern Ireland cheese maker.

The company recently secured listings for its cheddar and speciality cheeses with BWG, the Spar and Mace wholesaler in the Republic of Ireland.

“Being selected to supply our Cooneen cheese for the IFE gala dinner is a tremendous boost for the company’s international marketing drive. It is an indication of the quality and distinctive flavour of our cheeses,” says Peter Dunlop, Fivemiletown’s Sales and Marketing Manager.  “This positioning of our product at such a prestigious occasion will help us as we seek to drive sales in all our target markets,” he adds.

Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI Director of Food, adds: “This will be a tremendous opportunity for Fivemiletown to raise its profile with international buyers. It also shows the benefits of our longstanding relationship with the Food from Britain organisation.

“As well as our marketing relationships with Food from Britain and Bord Bia, we are implementing an extensive programme of activities designed to help our food companies to develop a strong market presence outside Northern Ireland,” he adds.

Galeries Lafayette, one of France’s top retailers, placed its first order for Fivemiletown’s award winning soft cheese and creamy cheddars. As a result, Fivemiletown’s distinctive hand made cheeses are now on sale in the gourmet food hall of Galeries Lafayette’s flagship store at Rue Haussmann in central Paris and other regional stores such as Nice, Marseille and Lyon.

In addition to its success with Galeries Lafayette, Fivemiletown has also signed a substantial deal to supply products to one of the top US supermarket chains, Safeway’s, in the greater Boston area. The prospects of a roll out of Fivemiletown cheeses to the chain’s 1,600-strong network in the US and Canada are good.

Furthermore, Fivemiletown is also supplying its cheeses to Tony’s, another supermarket chain in the Boston area.

The company’s recent export achievements also show the value of cross border and GB linkages. The Irish Dairy Board helped Fivemiletown secure the business in the US and Bord Bia the deal with Galeries Lafayette. Invest NI helped the company to develop its relationship with Bord Bia.

Since it was established in 1898, Fivemiletown Creamery has a well-founded reputation for age-old tradition and quality and sources its milk from farms close to its County Tyrone processing plant.

The dairy has the facility to produce many varieties of select quality cheeses but has maintained the traditional methods of manufacture.