Developing County Wicklow as a leading food and drink location is the objective of a major new strategy launched by Wicklow County Council and the Local Community Development Committee.
The County Wicklow Food and Beverage Strategy 2019-2021 highlights the county’s strengths and opportunities in the sector and sets out a pathway to how Wicklow can establish itself on the country’s food map.
Implementing the Strategy will see County Wicklow become a place for high quality food production and a key destination for food lovers.
It sets out five key goals:
- To tell the Wicklow Food Story
- To develop a Food Activity Calendar
- To increase Food Stakeholder Networking
- To get Local Food to Local Consumer and
- Provide appropriate business supports to assist start up and established local food and beverage producers grow their business
The Strategy – which was launched by Minister Andrew Doyle and internationally-known celebrity chef Catherine Fulvio at a food showcase and buyers event in Kilruddery Estate – was drawn up by consultants James Burke & Associates on behalf of Wicklow County Council and the Wicklow Local Community Development Committee.
It points out that in recent times Wicklow has seen an increased amount of activity on its food landscape: producer numbers have grown; new emerging food and beverage categories have become commonplace and there are signs of a strengthening food calendar of activity.
However, many of these food activities in the county operate in isolation and a key objective of the Strategy is to create a co-ordinated approach to the food sector which will allow the industry to move faster towards the long-term goal of becoming a regional leader on the Irish food landscape.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Frank Curran, Chief Executive, Wicklow County Council, said: “Our Food and Beverage Strategy is key to the economic, community and social development of the county. It recognises the contribution and creativity of our food producers, is consistent with our clean green image as the Garden of Ireland and enhances our tourism offering. The Strategy achieved many of the high-level objectives of our Local Economic and Community Plan including those of sustainable development and resilience.”
He said that the Wicklow Food and Beverage Strategy Committee included many of the leading entrepreneurs in the sector in the county as well as leading agencies. “Working in partnership, they are best placed to lead and drive the strategy and ensure that it is innovative and dynamic. Their drive and commitment will ensure that this will be achieved,” he stated.
The Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Pat Vance, said he was delighted to welcome Minister of State Andrew Doyle TD; TV Chef, Cookery School Proprietor and now Emmy nominee, Catherine Fulvio; the excellent food and beverage producers of County Wicklow all involved in showcasing Wicklow’s food and beverage offering to Killruddery’s Grain Store.
Speaking at the launch, Cllr Grainne McLoughlin, Chair of the Local Community Development Committee, said: “Implementing this Strategy will demonstrate what can happen when we all work together. Different stakeholders will have different roles to play, supporting and networking, training and development, innovating, marketing and promotion, sharing with visitors, developing our resilience.”
Anyone who would like to be involved in the strategy implementation is encouraged to get in contact. For further information please contact Deirdre Whitfield on 0404 20204 or 0872037757