Enniskillen-based O’Doherty’s Fine Meats launched Europe’s first nitrite-free bacon and a range of other new products at a major international food show in Italy.
To coincide with the O’Doherty’s participation at the Salone del Gusto exhibition in Turin from 21-25 October, the Northern Ireland company also launched the nitrite-free bacon and another five new products, part of its successful Fermanagh Black Bacon branded range, at Harrods and other upmarket customers in London.
O'Doherty's, which has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland, was the only company from Ireland, north or south, at the international event, the world’s most important exhibition for organic and natural food products. The Fermanagh company, which was selected by the event’s organisers following a rigorous assessment of its products, was part of the Food from Britain stand.
Invest NI organised a photographic display of Northern Ireland products at the show.
Said Pat O’Doherty, managing director of O’Doherty’s Fine Meats: “The nitrite-free bacon is the result of research and product development over five years. I believe that it is the first totally additive-free bacon to be produced in Europe and is ahead of EU moves to restrict the use of nitrites and nitrates in farming and food processing.
“Our nitrite-free bacon is, therefore, an ideal product for additive conscious consumers; people who wish bacon that offers a distinctive flavour because it’s naturally produced and dry cured. We’ve already test marketed the nitrite-free bacon in Northern Ireland and feedback has been very positive.
“The new bacon is our solution to concern being expressed about the effects of some additives on consumers and the growing demand for natural products. The show provided us with a global launch pad for the entire Fermanagh Black Bacon range.
“Our participation in the Turin event follows our involvement in an Invest NI market entry programme that helped us to strengthen our export capability by providing practical advice and essential information. Invest NI also introduced us to Food from Britain,” he added.
Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade director, said: “Our engagement with Food from Britain, the UK’s main food marketing body, is an example of our focus on helping Northern Ireland food processing companies to exploit global opportunities, especially for functional foods which are seen as having positive health benefits and have strong brands.
“Our trade programme offers extensive opportunities to food processing companies to develop business outside Northern Ireland by taking part in major exhibitions on our stands and through the Food from Britain organisation.”