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Gildernew welomes local food promotion campaign

23 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, has welcomed a new campaign to promote local food.

'Good Food is in our Nature' is a new industry-led and funded promotional campaign for locally produced food. It has been developed by private sector companies which have come together to present a unified image of the benefits of local food.

Welcoming the initiative, the Minister said:

"This is a positive step forward and one that I wholeheartedly endorse. Our agri-food sector has a winning combination of great natural resources, matched with first class quality.

"Sometimes we take for granted what is right on our doorstep. We need to support the entire supply chain, from farmer to retailer to promote local produce. They can supply fresh, wholesome produce, door-to-door, often at a better value."

The Minister also paid tribute to the work of the Food Strategy Implementation Partnership (FSIP), which was established by DARD, DETI and Invest NI in November 2004 to oversee the implementation of a strategy for the growth of the agri-food sector.

She said:

"I would like to thank personally Dan Flinter and his team for their dedication in taking forward the food strategy. The FSIP has made a tremendous contribution in advancing the agri-food agenda and bringing a joined-up approach between public and private sector. This new campaign is an example of what can be achieved when all sides pull together with a common goal. I look forward to seeing the consumer campaign being rolled-out early in the New Year."

Notes to Editors:

  1. Food Strategy Implementation Partnership (FSIP) was established by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, DETI and Invest NI in November 2004 to oversee the implementation of a broadly based strategy for the growth of the NI Agri-Food sector following the "Fit for Market" Report.
  2. A Domestic Marketing Industry Group was established to investigate the development of a marketing strategy for the local agri-food industry. This resulted in the formation of Food Promotion Northern Ireland (FPNI), an industry group representing a range of sectors, including representation from the UFU and the LMC, who are jointly taking forward and funding a domestic marketing campaign.
  3. The founder members of FPNI are Ulster Farmers Union, Dairy Council NI, Ulster Pork and Bacon Forum, LMC United Irish Organics and representatives of NIFDA. Another key point is that FPNI is open to all who are committed to promoting local foods.

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