Longford’s food and drink producers invited to join Farmers’ Market skills training workshops

Alan Walsh

Reporter:

Alan Walsh

Email:

alan.walsh@longfordleader.ie

Longford’s food and drink producers invited to join Farmers’ Market skills training workshops

Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture Andrew Doyle TD, Mary Morrissey, Senior Manager, Food and Beverages at Bord Bia and workshop trainer Margaret Hoctor, Kilmullen Farm, Wicklow.

Bord Bia is set to host a series of Farmers’ Market skills training workshops around the country this November to support new and existing members of the food market network.

The ‘Skills Training for Selling at Farmers’ workshops, specifically designed by Bord Bia, will provide practical solutions to the challenges most frequently faced by market sellers.

Food producer, farmer and successful stallholder Margaret Hoctor from Kilmullen Farm, Co Wicklow will deliver the workshops. Margaret, a regular at the Marley Park food market in Dublin, will share her own knowledge and wide experience of she developed the family business through this channel.

Food and Farmers' Markets have experienced considerable growth in recent years. Bord Bia research (2014) identified over 150 food markets in Ireland, including community markets, farmers markets, lunch-time markets, weekend city markets, co-operatives and country markets. They largely share the same common aim, which is to allow producers to sell their produce directly to consumers in a traditional market environment.

The Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture Mr Andrew Doyle TD visited the Kilruddery Food Market in Co Wicklow to launch the new initiative.

Speaking at the event Minister Doyle said “Farmers Markets are a great opportunity for food producers and entrepreneurs to tell their story and to understand what captures consumers’ interest – what consumers regard as local, authentic and unique, what would encourage them to purchase on a regular basis. These Bord Bia training workshops are a great opportunity to ‘get market-fit’ and I'd encourage anyone thinking of starting or developing sales in a farmers market to attend.”

Bord Bia is planning four practical and interactive half day workshops starting with Limerick on November 8 (The Castletroy Park Hotel), Cork (The Lee Hotel) on November 9, Galway (Hotel Meyrick) on November 15 and finally Wicklow (Tinakilly House) on November 16. A €15 charge per person applies and you must register in advance. According to Bord Bia, the workshops will provide as a refresher course for existing stall holders and a helping guide for those starting to trade at farmers’ markets.

Mary Morrissey, Senior Manager, Food and Beverages, Bord Bia commented “Bord Bia is delighted to support producers to build and grow their business in the farmers’ market channel with these workshops. Farmers’ markets continue to play a vital role to companies in the start-up phase and beyond. These workshops will assist food sellers and producers to further develop skills and gain expertise in the areas of stall management, selling and marketing tips, building customer loyalty and budgeting. The workshops also offer an invaluable opportunity for existing and prospective producers to network and share their ideas and experiences.”

Numbers are limited, so interested parties are encouraged to register now to avoid disappointment. For registration and further information see www.bordbia.ie/ FarmersMarketsTraining or email maria.stokes@bordbia.ie