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Minister Smith completes round of Regional Food Fora in South West

In his opening address to the Department of Agriculture and Food's 6th Regional Food Forum in Douglas, Cork this evening, Mr Brendan Smith T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for food and horticulture, paid tribute to what he termed "the powerful mix of passion, energy and enthusiasm, dedication to quality and the personal touch combined with business acumen that is found in abundance in the South West region - Cork, Kerry and Limerick".

Minister Smith said that the Agri Vision 2015 Plan of Action demonstrates the Government's commitment to the agri-food sector in the new market oriented environment. The Regional Food Fora, which is a key initiative under Agri Vision 2015 Plan of Action, is organised by the Department of Agriculture and Food in conjunction with Bord Bia. It is a unique opportunity for local food producers and support agencies to come together, develop ideas and identify areas where they can collaborate.

The evening featured presentations from Una Fitzgibbon, Bord Bia and John McKenna, author of the Bridgestone Food Guides, a questions and answers session with a panel of speakers who are actively engaged in the food business, together with opportunities for producers to meet with the development agencies. The Food Forum was preceded by a Food Safety Workshop in which the Department and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland clarified food safety controls.

Minister Smith had met earlier with the members of the Artisan Food Forum to discuss matters relating to the development and promotion of the artisan sector.

27 March, 2007

Date Released: 27 March 2007