The Good Food Ireland Conference in association with Kerrygold takes place today in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. Organisers say the event is set to be a unique gathering of businesses from the agri-food and tourism industries that are determined to put Ireland on the world stage as a tourism destination for global food lovers.
The theme of the conference this year is ‘Influencing Ireland’s food choices at home and abroad’. Good Food Ireland says its aim is to create a forum for new global opportunity, support growth and raise standards within industry to strengthen Ireland’s profile abroad.
Speaking at the event will be Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, UK journalist Xanthe Clay from The Telegraph, Dr Maureen Gaffney, Darragh McCullough from RTE’s Ear to the Ground, Padraig O Ceidigh, chairman Entrepreneur of the Year, Noel Toolan among others.
Good Food Ireland says indigenous industry is critically important to the Irish economy and none more so than the tourism and agri-food and fisheries sectors.
Speaking to AgriLand, Margaret Jeffares, founder of Good Food Ireland, said: “At our recent Food Summit in partnership with the Web Summit, Good Food Ireland did an Irish food showcase for 10,000 international delegates and media. So many had no perception of Irish food and were overwhelmed with the quality and diversity of the experience. There is a major job needed to be done to influence this opinion and Good Food Ireland businesses are perfectly placed to ensure this mind change.”
Organisers say food tourism is a growing market segment internationally and one in which Ireland is well placed to capitalise on. They believe their organisation with its some 600 members from the food and hospitality sectors have been leading the way, with strict standards for authentic food experience, prioritising local Irish food and providing residents and visitors with one unifying, trusted guarantee for the very best food experience.
There will also be a number of other launches at the conference including the Good Food Ireland Prepaid MasterCard and a Food Travel Passport.
This evening An Taoiseach Enda Kenny will present the Good Food Ireland Awards hosted by RTE’s Kathryn Thomas. More information on the Good Food Ireland Conference and to view the Shortlisted Awards Finalists is available here.