Nine champions of Donegal Food are the first in the county to receive official approval to display the Donegal Food Coast Brand, following the presentation of Donegal Food Coast plaques at a ceremony in Letterkenny this week.
Use of the branding permits businesses to demonstrate that they are either a Donegal-based producer or a business sourcing produce from Donegal producers and are committed to making Donegal a recognised destination for good food.
“The role of the food sector is very important to Donegal in that it creates employment and contributes to sustaining our local economy. The Food Coast branding allows a business/promoter to demonstrate their commitment and demonstrate their role in helping make Donegal famous as a food county,” Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise in Donegal, told those attending Tuesday’s presentation.
He added: “The vision of The Donegal Food Strategy is to collectively work together to make Donegal famous for food and to make Donegal recognised as a pioneering region for its approach to fostering and growing new start-up and existing food businesses.
Donegal’s Good Food Initiative aims to grow, support, promote and facilitate the food and drink producers and manufacturers of the region; the retailers supplying local produce and the hospitality outlets working with locally sourced ingredients. As part of the Initiative we want to raise awareness of food from within the county through the roll-out of The Food Coast brand.”
Mr Tunney stated that in a short space of time, The Food Coast has become a central platform for establishing Donegal as a “Food County” – a place with a vibrant food culture and food economy.
“Local Enterprise Office Donegal is keen to ensure that The Food Coast – Donegal’s Good Food Initiative – continues to grow and develop, and assist local businesses create employment and contribute to sustaining the county’s local economy.”
Doherty’s Potatoes from Bridgend; Donegal Brewing Company from Ballyshannon; Wholegreen from Letterkenny; The Counter Deli, Letterkenny; The Lemon Tree, Letterkenny; Mulroy Bay Mussels from Cranford; O’Donnell’s Bakery from Laghey; Tara Hotel, Killybegs; and Filligan’s from Glenties were all approved to display the branding.
Further applications are currently being processed and interested food businesses are being encouraged to get in touch with the Local Enterprise Office. Donegal Business in the food sector can also join the Food Coast Network, a group of producers and businesses which regularly meet, collaborate and attend workshops with aim of growing their businesses.
Applications to seek to obtain use of The Food Coast branding and join the Food Coast network are open and ongoing. Any food business seeking further information on the Food Coast Brand can contact Eve-Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07491 60735.