Northern Ireland Potato Festival 2013 4th - 6th October

UFU Watch 

The Ulster Farmers’ Union are delighted to announce the official launch of the inaugural Northern Ireland Potato Festival. The three-day event, running from Friday 4th October to Sunday 6th October, will be held at several locations along the North Antrim Coast including Innisfree Farm at Bushmills and Ballycastle Town Centre.

The festival, which has been jointly organised by the UFU, National Trust, Good Food NI, CAFRE, AFBI, DARD and local potato producer Glens of Antrim Potatoes, will celebrate all aspects of the local potato industry.

UFU Potato Chairman Adrian Jamison said that he is delighted to be a part of the celebrations and is looking forward to welcoming locals and visitors alike to the Antrim Coast. Adrian went on to say; “I hope the whole community gets behind the potato festival to help create an event that will benefit the local farming industry and increase the awareness of the different potato varieties and potato breeders in Northern Ireland. I believe that this festival is just the start of something good for our potato breeders and I hope that it will grow to become a major Northern Ireland event.”

Maurice McHenry, Chairman of the NI Potato Festival Committee, commented, “Over the course of the three day festival, visitors can enjoy a range of activities including farm tours, talks, storytelling, exhibits, a farmers market, arts and crafts and live music. Top Chefs Paula McIntyre, Padraig Og’ Gallagher and Emmett McCourt will also be on hand with a series of cookery demonstrations taking place to tantalise visitors taste buds.”

Michael McKillop of Glens of Antrim Potatoes and spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Potato Festival added, “On behalf of the entire committee we would like to thank everyone who has helped to get this project up and running. The potato industry is an integral part of the agri-food sector in Northern Ireland and we’re delighted to help play a role in recognising and celebrating the humble spud.”

“For us at Glens of Antrim Potatoes it’s not just about planting and growing, we want to educate people about the heritage of our food here in NI and the benefits of having a healthy diet. In fact, on Friday 4th October, we will be throwing open our doors to the public and offering a tour of our potato packaging facilities, located deep in the heart of the Glens of Antrim. Visitors will be given the opportunity to see the inner workings of a potato company first-hand and hear all about our exciting variety development programme.”

A full detailed programme will be published next weekend (28th September) within the Farming Life UFU Watch section. For more information please visit www.discovernorthernireland.com