Networking is the recipe for success

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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council hosted a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event in Craigavon Civic & Conference Centre last week.

Growing the local economy is one of the council’s key priorities, with the agri-food sector being a key growth area.

The ‘Food Heartland Forum’ was developed to drive initiatives that foster a local food culture, and to encourage exporting and innovation within the agri-food industry in the borough.

The latest Food Heartland Forum initiative was a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event, an opportunity for local food and drink producers to have 30 industry buyers (restaurants, retailers and distributors) sampling quality creations from the local area and discussing how they could do business.

The event also marked the end of the ‘Food Development Programme’ which offered business support – including marketing, branding, sales, production and mentoring – to 14 local food and drink producers in the borough.

The Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Councillor Darryn Causby said: “The programme was a huge success, with some producers now developing their export potential and two producers even creating new products as a direct result of the programme.”

As well as meeting with buyers, producers were also given the opportunity to engage in ‘Knowledge Clinics’ with industry experts from Food NI, Invest NI, Trading Standards, Environmental Health, NFU Insurance and Cavanagh Kelly Chartered Accountants.

To get involved with the Food Heartland Forum or to find out more information on support for the agri-food sector, please contact Economic Development in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council on economicdevelopment@armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk.