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Wednesday, 19th June 2024

Leading the Charge: launch of Boyne Valley's new Food Development Strategy

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Pictured at yesterday's launch were (from left): Boyne Valley Flavours Board members Olivia Duff, Emma Gill, Chris Brownlow, Helen Durnin, Tara Walker, Bronagh Conlon and Kevin Sheridan.

The new Boyne Valley Food Development Strategy for 2024-2028, was proudly launched Yesterday, Tuesday 18th June, in the historic surroundings of Slane Castle.

The new strategy is designed to position the Boyne Valley region as a leading food destination with food producers are at its heart. Developed in coordination with Discover Boyne Valley Flavours and The Centre of Food Culture, Boyne Valley, with the support of both Meath and Louth County Councils, and Fáilte Ireland, this strategic initiative aims to strengthen the local food ecosystem, promote sustainability, and enhance the Boyne Valley's reputation for food and craft drinks.

The strategy brings together three pillars: the Discover Boyne Valley Flavours food and craft drinks network, Food Tourism, and The Centre of Food Culture, Boyne Valley. These initiatives aim to realise the vision for the region to be recognised for its collaborative approach to developing food as a sustainable economic sector and a food destination where our producers are at the heart of our food culture.

Yesterday’s launch was attended by Kevin Sheridan, Chairperson Boyne Valley Flavours, Olivia Duff, Chairperson The Centre of Food Culture, Boyne Valley, Kieran Kehoe, Chief Executive, Meath County Council, Thomas McEvoy, Director of Services, Louth County Council and Mark Mohan, Manager – Ireland’s Ancient East, Fáilte Ireland

“Thanks to our thriving food network and the agency support surrounding it, the Boyne Valley has led the charge in celebrating Irish food and culture” said Olivia Duff Chairperson, The Centre of Food Culture, Boyne Valley.

“This is set to continue with the development of The Centre of Food Culture, Boyne Valley - the first of its kind on the island of Ireland. The Centre of Food Culture, will act as a catalyst for a step change about how we value Irish food culture, shared identity, past present and future.

“This strategy sets out the road map for its exciting development for the next five years and its place in the wider food strategy for the region.” 

This new strategy represents the region's progress in becoming a top food and drink destination in Ireland’s Ancient East. This success is the result of collaboration between counties Meath and Louth and various industries, local authorities, and state agencies, including Fáilte Ireland.

Attendees at the Boyne Valley Food Development Strategy launch.

Kevin Sheridan, Chairperson Discover Boyne Valley Flavours, said:

“This strategy lays out a pathway for the Boyne Valley Flavours to continue to grow and thrive over the next five years. With the support of the two local authorities our community of food producers and food professionals will build on our past achievements to ensure the Boyne Valley is a place with food at its heart.

“This strategy builds on the first food strategy for the region covering the period 2016-2021, which focused on a vision "For the Boyne Valley region to be recognised as the leading national food and drinks destination.”

Since then, Discover Boyne Valley Flavours has achieved significant successes, winning the “Foodie Destination” in 2016, being recognised as one of the “World’s Best Food Destinations” in 2019 by the National Geographic Traveller, and winning Most Innovative Food or Beverage Marketing Campaign for a Destination at the 2019 World Food Travel Association’s Food Trekking Awards. The network now has almost 100 food and drink businesses as members.

The new strategy represents a five year roadmap for craft food and drink producers, food service and hospitality industry. The ambitious plan brings together various projects and activities in one document working towards a collective vision for food across the Boyne Valley. It includes a five year development approach for Discover Boyne Valley Flavours, the Centre of Food Culture and Food in Tourism across the Boyne Valley including the continued development of the sea Louth initiative.

The launch of this new strategy is an important milestone in the history of the food, agriculture and tourism industries in the Boyne Valley reflecting the ambition of the region to build a thriving and enduring food and drink community and home to the first national centre of food culture.

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