O’Neill announces further support for regional food
Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has announced continuing support for local agri-food groups by awarding them almost £120,000 for the promotion of quality local food.
The funding has been allocated under the second tranche of the 2011/12 Regional Food Programme and will support 10 projects through to June 2012. As well as promoting local quality produce, the programme brings together several trade bodies in cross-cutting promotional activities and includes a pigmeat promotional campaign, activities at IFEX 2012, a school based agri-food challenge, food activities at Balmoral and county shows.
Commenting on the awards Minister O’Neill MLA said:
“This funding will help promote quality regional food and increase its consumption in Ireland and further afield. Previous projects funded through the Regional Food Programme have led to increased sales opportunities and new markets for many local producers and I believe this can be continued.”
The Minister added:
“Whilst I recognise that the industry has proven to be resilient in the current economic climate and was one of the few sectors in any national region to exhibit growth last year, we need to remain focused on building future resilience and sustainability right across the agri-food supply chain. Promoting our quality produce is an integral part of this focus on food and all of this year’s successful applicants to the Regional Food Programme are to be congratulated on their efforts.”