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Businesses invited to LegenDerry Food Industry event

18 June 2019

Local businesses in the hospitality industry are being invited to take part in a LegenDerry Food Industry event to find out more about the recently established Food and Drink Network and to discuss an exciting new initiative called ‘Taste the Island’.

The meeting will take place on June 24 in the Walled City Brewery and will bring together professionals from the wider food and drink sector with a shared interest in building and developing the industry in the North West.

The Food and Drink Network launched in February 2019 alongside the new Local Food and Drink strategy and the network have already been working hard to progress the aims and objectives of the strategy. The event on Monday is an opportunity for the wider sector to find out more about the plans and how they can get involved.

The new ‘Taste the Island’ initiative will also be a key topic up for discussion. The programme is led by Tourism NI and supported by Derry City and Strabane District Council as a key element of the Local Tourism Strategy, aimed at establishing the region as the leading food destination on the island by 2025. The programme is an eight week showcase of our fabulous food and drink and will run from Mid-September to Mid-November 2019.

Tourism Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Jennifer O’Donnell, encouraged local businesses to come along and find out more about the opportunities available.

“The LegenDerry food and drink story continues to grow and it’s been a really busy year to date with the launch of the new Food and Drink Strategy and the establishment of the local food and drink network.

“The purpose of the event next week is to engage the wider food and drink sector and update them on all the work ongoing, while also highlighting what the opportunities are and encouraging them to get involved. This is a really exciting time to engage with the process as we begin to shape the way forward for the local industry based on the collective ambitions of our talented and innovative hospitality professionals.”

James Huey is a former head brewer at Guinness and proprietor of the Walled City Brewery. As Chair of the new Food and Drink Network, he is already beginning to see the momentum growing in the drive to transform the local industry. “So far this has been a really positive experience, and it provides a great forum for people within the industry to sound out their ideas and explore new paths for development in the food and drink sector,” he explained.

“During our next meeting we will be discussing the Taste the Island Initiative as a platform to celebrate local products and food experiences that are exclusive to the North West and really showcase what we have to offer in terms of quality and invention. I would encourage anyone with an interest in promoting local food to sign up and come along.”

Derry and Strabane’s reputation as an exciting up and coming foodie destination has certainly been growing in recent years, leading to some top awards – including being crowned Best Food Destination in NI in 2016 and shortlisted in the top 10 Food Destinations in Ireland in 2018 as well as the development of some highly successful food festivals and events that continue to grow year on year.

The ‘Taste the Island - A Celebration of Our Food and Drink’ initiative kicks off a three-year commitment from TNI, Tourism Ireland and Failte Ireland. The programme, which is also supported by Council, will build on the success of N. Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink in 2016, and follows on from the region’s achievement in scooping the title of ‘Best Food Destination’ at the International Travel and Tourism Awards 2018/19.

The event will take place in the Walled City Brewery, June 24th, from 10am – 12noon.

To register your attendance please e-mail [email protected]