Northern Ireland's agri-food industry has urged breakfast skippers to think again and to take advantage of the fresh and healthy breakfast foods produced in Northern Ireland.
At a breakfast event this week, Food NI and the Ulster Farmers’ Union, with support from DARD’s Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme and the Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA), came together to explain the importance of a healthy breakfast and to celebrate the contribution of Northern Ireland’s agri-food industry to the most important meal of the day. Guests were treated to a delicious breakfast made from Northern Ireland home grown produce and Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew was on hand to show her support.
Speaking at the event, UFU Seeds and Cereals Chairman Robert Moore said; “This event provides the perfect opportunity to showcase the excellence of Northern Ireland’s producers and the strength of the Northern Ireland agri-food industry as a whole. Our agri-food industry currently turns over £3 billion a year and has traded strongly during the recession. The NI agri-food industry also supports over 90,000 jobs in Northern Ireland and is probably the single most important source of sustaining the rural population.”
“Events such as the annual Farmhouse Breakfast week, provide us with the opportunity to remind ourselves of the importance of this industry and to celebrate the contributions of Northern Ireland’s producers. Worryingly, however, local producers are facing rapidly rising production costs, which are posing a very real threat to the industry. With food security at the forefront of many people’s minds, and Northern Ireland well placed strategically to be a global leader in food production, it is vital that we ensure we have a sustainable and profitable food chain which rewards producer, processor, and retailer alike.”
UFU President John Thompson added; “Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, so it is apt that we are celebrating this important industry with a breakfast meal. Despite rising production costs, Northern Ireland’s producers are still committed to ensuring that delicious and healthy food is available for our breakfast tables. I would also like to extend a special thanks to all the breakfast partners for their support and contributions today.”
Michele Shirlow from FoodNI continued; “It is a privilege to have been able to work with Northern Ireland producers to put on the Northern Ireland Farmhouse Breakfast this year. As many as one in four consumers skip breakfast at some stage during the week and alarmingly as many as one in six adults never eat breakfast1. There is an abundance of good food grown locally here in Northern Ireland, as can be seen by the contributions at this event, so there is no excuse for consumers not to be eating a healthy and delicious breakfast. Not only is this event highlighting the importance of breakfast but it is providing an excellent platform for recognising the quality of food produced here in Northern Ireland and the hard work and commitment of producers.