Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Country Markets Ltd AGM

The Country Markets Collection.
Cookery Book, Jute Shopper and Apron.


There was a great turnout yesterday for our AGM in Dublin. Markets from all over the country arrived in glorious sunshine. The support is very encouraging, and an increase in younger membership ensures the future of the organisation.

Our guests included Seamus Parle of Cooney Parle Accountants and Auditors, Stephen Doyle, First Ireland Insurance , and Guest Speaker JJ Healy Culinary Lecturer CIT.

Seamus Parle and JJ Healy.

There was agreement that a national fundraising campaign be carried out for Headstrong, the Centre for National Youth Mental Health. The monies will go towards establishing services, information and assistance for families and youths in their own communities.

We said goodbye to three of our Management Commitee. Emer Duffy, Pamela Henry and Frances O Brien  have between them given many years to Country Markets, thank you all!
Presentations to: Emer Duffy.

  Frances O Brien

Pamela Henry

Our Country Markets Ltd aprons were also launched, and will be delivered to the markets by the Regional Reps in the coming weeks.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

A Trip to Ramelton Country Market


Workers and Drones! 
The purpose of this visit was to see how we could improve our market, pick up some new ideas and have a day out! It marks the first of what I hope will become a regular feature for us, and we were delighted some Ballynacargy members joined us. We already have area meetings, agm’s, blogs, facebook groups,- why not take up visiting one another?

Arriving as the market was been set up, we were greeted with tea/ coffee and a warm welcome, then got a sneak preview of the entire market’s produce before opening time. 

A market like this does not just happen. It takes an incredible amount of work, and a team of producers dedicated to maintaining a very high standard in their market. Thanks everyone in Ramelton Market, we had a great time!

Tasty Terrines.
Silk lampshades.



Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Achill Country Market Celebrate!

Members of Achill Country Market.

I joined the Achill members on Saturday to celebrate 15 years of business in Ted Lavelle’s ,Cashel.

A Cookery and Craft Competition for Second level schools in the area organised by the market had lots of entries. It’s great to share the enthusiasm of teenagers, and I value their imput in our markets, they are the future of local food/craft production.
Baking winner Alva
Craft winner Ray O Loughlin
The market also launched a cookery book to mark the occasion, with contributions from the members. Some of the recipies have been handed down the generations. It has all the favourites, and includes valuable information on local sea vegetables. Annette O Leary enjoys sharing her knowledge of these and has done a wonderful display for visitors to the market on the various types, and the different ways they can be used.

Several demonstrations were held throughout the day, compliments of the members. Weaving, flower arranging, crochet and cake decoration, all of which added to the event.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Atlantic Way Food Business Event

This aim of this event was to highlight new opportunities in food production, processing and tourism along Ireland’s west coast. It was held in Westpark Business Campus, Shannon last Thursday with speakers from Failte Ireland, Teagasc, local food businesses and Bullseye Food Marketing . Paddy Matthews from Failte Ireland spoke about the big drop in visitor numbers to the West coast over the last 10-15 years. Their response to this is The Wild Atlantic Way, a touring route from Donegal to West Cork. http://youtu.be/VvPvDmogPp4
Catherine Browne and Cepta Kennedy from Clonlara Country Market.

Loops off the main route to allow visitors experience more local and regional attractions are part of this project which is still at a very early stage.

Two local food businesses, Burren Smokehouse and White Sage Restaurant spoke of building on local and seasonal ingredients, and how important this was to their enterprises.

Stephen Alexander, Teagasc spoke on opportunities in localised horticultural businesses, now that oil supply will play a more critical role in the distribution of our food. There are currently just over 200 growers in Ireland, fifty of them growing almost 75% of the vegetables and fruit. There is only one commercial onion grower in the country, and from April to June we import all our fruit and vegetables.

Kieran O Connor of Bullseye Food Marketing on trends both here and abroad for 2012. Seasonal, local fresh ingredients, emphasis on the simple, pure and natural. In recession we become nostalgic for what we once had, people are now seeking comfort in going back to their roots, stews with cheaper cuts of meat, pies, puddings, its comfort all the way!
Over 65’s account for 11% of the Irish market, and are the most affluent segment, 25% of the Irish market is over the age of fifty. Target this market ( Grey Market)by offering health benefits, fresh, high fibre ,wholegrain, low salt. Sustainability is a factor, reducing our waste with less over packaging and more emphasis on fair trade.

I spoke to Una Phelan, Operations Executive of Atlantic Way Food about our markets and she has agreed to add them to their listings. Also any of these markets who have demonstrations or other upcoming events can let Una know and they will also be included in their Events Guide. Email Una - una@atlanticwayfood.com
Paddy Matthews Failte Ireland, Birgitte Hedin- Curtin Burren Smokehouse, Tony Schwarz White Sage Restaurant and Kieran O Connor Bullseye Food Marketing.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Ballynacargy Country Market Celebrations


Ballynacargy celebrated their 21st birthday last Friday, and they kindly invited me along.

It was very much a community gathering, with many travelling a distance to share the day, and meet up with old friends again.

Everyone sat around the great big table and relished the marvellous selection of birthday treats, while being waited upon by the market producers.

I spoke to Orlaith, who is the market’s youngest producer. She has been trying out some recipies and can't wait for her school holidays to get baking!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

New Display Workshops

A workshop on Display will take place in North County Wicklow market this Saturday 31/03/2012. Other markets local to Newcastle are invited to take the opportunity and get some tips on presentation and display of produce As more and more great produce makes its way into the markets over the coming months, we need to do it justice.

Phil Kildea from Q.E.D will deliver the workshop on Saturday from 10am-12noon.

Next Display Workshop in Naas on 06/04/2012 Good Friday.

Other workshops are being planned.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Area Meeting Cork


Our final meeting took place in Cork in the Vienna Woods Hotel, with mentors
JJ Healy and Ronnie Harrison.

The workshop was very lively There were lots of ideas explored and valuable information shared by two people with vast experience in food, sales, and marketing.
Enthusiastic members

Ronnie runs Optimum Training and JJ is Culinary lecturer in Cork’s Institute of Technology, with a broad range of expertise in the food business.

We also had Professor Ronan Gormley and Paul Foyle attending.
JJ Healy, Paul Foyle, Ronan Gormley and Ronnie Harrison.