A special lunch was held in Belfast today to promote Terra Madre Ireland, a four-day event being held in Waterford from 4-7 September to bring together producers and others involved in sustainable food production from across the island. Among those at the lunch were Darina Allen, Chairperson of Slow Food Ireland and Michelle Gildernew, Minister for Department of Agricultural and Rural Development.
Organized by Slow Food in Ireland, the centerpiece of the Terra Madre event is a one-day food policy conference to be held on September 5. Participants can partake in one of forty workshops, each one producing a statement and making key recommendations which will be presented to Ministers for Agriculture (North and South) in the afternoon feedback session. The Irish President Mary McAleese will also address delegates during the conference.
Other activities over the four days of the festival include an open-air barbecue for 1,000 people in Waterford City, a major Farmers Market, a Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony, culinary demonstrations, tours to artisan food makers, visits to specialty producers and best-practice farms, as well as tastings, picnics and competitions – all arranged in a convivial atmosphere around the celebration and sharing of local food.
Speaking on behalf of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, Diane Smyth said: ‘I am delighted to have had the opportunity to attend this special lunch … we were able to sample local produce and learn more about the Terra Madre event and Slow Food International. This is an important conference for all those involved in the food chain and, in particular, we need to be aware how to promote food sustainability effectively’
For more information on Terra Madre Ireland:
For more information on the international Terra Madre network and meetings: