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Local food ambassadors shine at international festival

Friday, 2nd June, 2017 11:59am

A Galway food syndication has further strengthened economic and tourism links with France following their attendance at the Fête des vins de l'Anjou recently.

Foods of Athenry, Gran Grans and Tribal Foods who travelled along with Sheena Dignam of Galway Food Tours and Merveilles D’Irlande to attend Fête des vins de l'Anjou in the Pays de la Loire region last week wowed the French festival with a supreme West of Ireland food showcase.

The trip showcased the diverse and unique range of locally sourced produce in the West of Ireland whilst also highlighting key SME’s and start-ups in the food industry to the French market.

Over the course of the festival, close to 30,000 tastings took place with each person sampling approximately five different samples of the products.

Magaly Murray from Grans Grans foods took part in the Fete des Vins D'Anjou as one of the three West of Ireland producers that represented Galway.

“The weekend was a great success for Irish produce and specially served as a market research practice for small artisan companies that are looking for an opportunity to expand to the European market.  Gran Grans products stand out for its variety of flavours, innovative recipes and culinary flair and they are only one example of what Galway Gastronomy had to offer to tourists; a melting pot of cuisines and cultures with an Irish twist!”

Alan Farrell of Galway County Council who was among the travelling group added, “The feedback in relation to all the products which the producers were selling as well as the other products which were showcased was extremely positive with food products like Connemara Smokehouse, Kellys Oysters, Galway Hooker Brewery and Independent Brewing already being exported to France, these along with Aran Islands Goats Cheese, Killeen Farmhouse Cheese and Mc Geough cured meats and Micil Poitin, being in high demand.”

As part of the organised scheduled the Galway producers that travelled engaged with French counterparts to learn about the importance of Food/Wine Tourism. Key learnings here found the important role of visitor facilities where tourists and locals can engage with producers at their place of work and learn more about the product as well as the producers’ stories.  The development of tourism experience will be a key focus of the European Region of Gastronomy 2018 programme.

Dominique Pairochon, President of the Fete des Vins D’Anjou and ‎Délégué Général at Credit Agricole said, “It has been a terrific weekend and the Galway delegation really added to the wine festival, giving the French the opportunity to discover the beautiful products of the West of Ireland. We look forward to our upcoming visit to the Bia Lover Festival in the beautiful historic town of Athenry on 17 and 18 June and to give the Irish public the chance to discover the fantastic wines of Anjou.”

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