Sustainable Food Communities project launched in Belfast
At the end of March 2012, the Principal Deputy Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Francie Molloy MLA, awarded the bronze Catering Mark to Eurest, the caterers at Parliament Buildings in Belfast.
Mr Molloy was speaking at a conference organised by the Soil Association to launch its Sustainable Food Communities project in Northern Ireland. In the splendour of Stormont’s Long Gallery, some seventy delegates heard how the local food culture is developing quickly, after decades of neglect, how its top restaurants are using the fresh, local and seasonal organic produce that characterises sustainable food.
Speakers covered the ‘food chain’ from production to consumption. A panel of allotment managers extolled the virtues of ‘growing your own’ while the quality of the country’s commercial produce was illuminated as A Taste of Ulster. Examples of alternative supply chains, including box schemes and an inspirational insight into the UK’s best Food Market in Bolton, were followed by an erudite and entertaining conversation among three top Belfast chefs.
The Soil Association’s project manager in Northern Ireland, Jim Kitchen, said, “We’re pleased to have been able to award the Catering Mark to the Assembly. It’s the first such award in Ireland and I’m confident that it will be the first of many. As we’ve seen at today’s conference, there is an abundance of high quality sustainable food available here, underpinned by the outstanding local produce available to our finest chefs and the householder alike.”
Images of the event