Today we’d like to chat about the recent National Ploughing Championships. Of course there were the fun bits when Dublin star Bernard Brogan, distinguished Mayo footballer Aidan O’Shea and retired Kerry player Paul Galvin appeared, not to mention the hunt for Ireland’s Most Stylish Farmer and the National Ploughing Championships’ Best Dressed Welly competition.
However, the show also highlighted SuperValu Food Academy producers as part of a programme that aims to support food start-ups hoping to secure their first retail listing. Now, regular readers of this column will be aware that SuperValu has signed a number of contracts over the years, local, regional and countrywide, with producers of – well, where do we start? Pates, terrines, yoghurt and spirits are just a few locally produced items that come to mind. As for where the next ones will come from, 15 SuperValu Food Academy food start-ups showed off their products at the Championships, where they had access to somewhere in the region of 200,000 samplers. Some SuperValu Food Academy producers even supplied recipes for a demonstration hosted by celebrated chef, Kevin Dundon.
The result of all this activity could be that some names you may not know yet will be coming to a SuperValu near you soon, bringing excellent food or drink from local companies with a flair for taste, quality and presentation. We do hope you’ll watch out for them – and support them.
And beyond that? Could a small producer from your area be showing off new meat, dairy, veg or other offerings at one of these shows or even on SuperValu shelves some time in the future, boosting Ireland’s economy, jobs and reputation? Now there’s food for thought.