Pictured (L-R): David Quinn, Irish Distillers; Miriam Mooney, Irish Whiskey Association; and Bernard Walsh, Walsh Whiskey Distillery
The inside track on Ireland’s booming food and beverage industry, edited by Colin White.
WHISKEY A GO-GO
The Irish Whiskey Association has launched a landmark new mentoring programme, which will bring established global players in the Irish whiskey industry together with new entrants to the market.
The aim of this unique new mentoring programme is to ensure that new entrants to the category have access to the information and support they need to produce high-quality Irish whiskey that global consumers expect.
The Irish whiskey market is the fastest growing spirits category in the world and has grown by an impressive 200% in the last decade.
This unique programme will see established industry leaders mentor new entrants in the market and provide them with the necessary support and guidance to ensure the success not only of their new businesses but also the future and growth of the Irish whiskey category.
Stages three and four will focus on active mentoring where mentor companies such as Irish Distillers and Bushmills will be paired with new entrants. These stages will involve planning, design, construction and commissioning. The last stage will focus on production, highlighting the importance of ensuring that the high quality premium nature of the category is maintained.
The Irish whiskey market is the fastest growing spirits category in the world and has grown by an impressive 200% in the last decade
Speaking at the launch Miriam Mooney, head of the Irish Whiskey Association, said: “Today marks a really exciting new milestone in Irish whiskey’s history. This unique programme will see industry leaders support new market entrants and showcases the collegiality amongst industry and members of the Irish Whiskey Association.
The mentor companies will share information, expertise and knowledge with new entrants enabling them to plan and succeed in the Irish whiskey business whilst at the same time upholding the integrity of the brand.”
Participant in the new mentoring programme and CEO of Walsh Distillery Bernard Walsh commented: “The Irish whiskey industry is at a pivotal moment in its history. We know that there is huge consumer appetite for our products globally, we only have to look across the water to Scotland with 108 distilleries in operation to see what’s possible.
“This initiative today is very welcome and the mentor companies are to be applauded for investing their expertise in new projects, to ensure high standards are maintained. For the industry to grow and compete internationally with scotch and bourbon products we cannot compromise on quality.”
A new range of single portion on-the-go pots has been launched by award-winning gluten-free cereal producer Maria Lucia Bakes.
The new pots are available in four varieties: cashew, almond and cinnamon granola; cranberry, coconut and chia seed granola; no added sugar granola; and porridge, which is lightly sweetened with coconut sugar.
The products have already received a collective merit award in the innovation category at the FreeFrom Food Awards Ireland 2016.
Maria Betts, founder and owner of Maria Lucia Bakes, said: “Customers have been telling us they want healthy breakfast options when they are on the go and we have responded by creating single servings of granola in a pot with a spoon with room to add yogurt and fruit in our best selling varieties.”
Maria Lucia Bakes on-the-go pots are available to buy from selected Dunnes Stores, SuperValu, Centra and independent outlets at €1.95 each.
ProU is a new functional yogurt product, offering consumers on the Irish and UK markets high levels of calcium, vitamin D and protein in combination.
This yogurt is the brainchild of Michael and Jane Murphy. The Murphys identified that there is no tasty food product out there that is dedicated to looking after longer term bone and muscle management and have developed a proprietary process with Teagasc to deliver a unique and tasty food product that targets bone and muscle health management.
THE RIGHT TRACK
Fáilte Ireland recently partnered with Iarnród Éireann and the Sligo Food Trail in bringing all Sligo has to offer to a group of VIP writers as part of a series of new initiatives to stimulate regional dispersion and seasonal extension along the Wild Atlantic Way.
The focus for Fáilte Ireland is to help businesses and regions broaden the so-called ‘shoulder seasons’ immediately prior to and following the main summer season in tourist destinations. This is especially important along the Wild Atlantic Way, where many businesses close outside of the peak months.
The ‘Sligo Food Train’ brought high-profile food writers and bloggers by train from Connolly Station to Sligo, where they were treated to a 24-hour foodie experience.
Fáilte Ireland’s head of the Wild Atlantic Way Fiona Monaghan said: “With an emphasis on some of the quieter places, we are working to boost visitor traffic all along the route and especially beyond the usual hotspots throughout this autumn.”
STRAIGHT TO THE CORE
The inaugural harvest of Mulrines’ apple orchards in Kill, Co. Kildare took place on October 24th. This harvest marks a significant milestone for the Irish fruit juice industry, as it is Ireland’s first large-scale farm-to-glass harvest of apples, which will be converted into 100% pure Irish apple juice.
It is estimated that the fruit juice market in Ireland has an annual retail revenue €100m. Mulrines is currently working with the European Fruit Juice Association on a Europe-wide awareness campaign called Fruit Juice Matters. This initiative aims to communicate the scientific evidence base demonstrating that 100% fruit juice is a beneficial addition to a healthy lifestyle.
Mulrines of Donegal is Ireland’s premier juice production company. Established in 1919, Mulrines now employs a highly motivated workforce of more than 150 people.
Mulrines’ programme of major investment in new technology and the latest automated juice production equipment, combined with research into new products and packaging solutions, has earned the company recognition throughout the food and drink industry.
EDUCATING THE NATION
An organisation that embodies and protects the richness of Ireland’s agricultural legacy has been announced as the winner of the 2016 Irish Food Writers’ Guild Community (IFWG) Food Awards.
The Irish Seed Savers Association conserves and distributes rare and heritage seed varieties and encourages the skill of saving your own seeds. The association plays an active and crucial role in helping keep Irish agricultural biodiversity alive and well at a time when sustainability is on both political and social agendas.
According to the judges, without the work of the Irish Seed Savers Association we would have already lost much of our food heritage. Its education project on agricultural biodiversity will have lifelong benefits for the young citizens with whom it engages and its long-term impact on Ireland’s policies as a food-producing nation could be immense.