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Minister Coveney attends the Dingle Peninsula Food Festival

Blas na hÉireann awards at Dingle a quality act

Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, today attended the Dingle Peninsula Food Festival.

Addressing a very enthusiastic and dedicated group of people who champion Irish food on a daily basis, he said "The prospects for quality Irish food produce are bright despite many challenges.  Now is an important time for agri-food producers and fishermen to exploit growth opportunities to create thriving companies and coastal communities. The Gathering event next year will be one such opportunity for local and regional specialty food producers to showcase to a wider audience and to encourage consumers of Irish food to keep in touch".

Minister Coveney referred to the wealth of natural resources the Dingle Peninsula has to offer - the landscape is more than simply beautiful to look at - it is the basis of a thriving food and drink industry. He also referred to the innovative approaches taken by farmers, fishermen and food producers to increase the range and reach of local food supplied to the local market in the county and beyond. The Minister encouraged all agri-food companies to register with the Bord Bia led sustainability charter, Origin Green. "Origin Green is a world first sustainability development programme for the Irish food and drink industry and it will show the world - in a very direct and compelling way - that Ireland can stand over its environmentally sustainable farming practices. It provides a route for demonstrating the sustainable production practices of individual companies and potentially of the entire Irish food and drink industry".

Minister Coveney concluded by wishing the best of luck to all who had entered the Blás na hÉireann competition awards and commended them for their ongoing support for promoting produce from all counties in Ireland.

Date Released: 05 October 2012