Food Heartland showcase opportunity for 2024 Agri Shows

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Local food and drink producers, farmers and agri businesses from across the borough of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon – better known as the Food Heartland of NI – are being given the opportunity to showcase their products at this year’s shows at Balmoral, Lurgan and Armagh.

The Council’s Food Heartland initiative will host a stand at all three shows during May and June and wish to invite members to join them, giving those small producers the opportunity to exhibit and showcase their produce at a show that may ordinarily be cost prohibitive for them alone.

The pinnacle agricultural event in Northern Ireland is Balmoral and it takes place from 15 to 18 May. Local show Lurgan is on Saturday 1 June and Armagh show on Saturday 8 June. All three events provide an unrivalled opportunity for local artisan producers to meet and engage with new customers and buyers.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Margaret Tinsley said:

“The Spring Agri shows are a highlight of the calendar for many of us and the Council is proud to call our borough the Food Heartland of Northern Ireland. It is important for us to showcase the home-grown food producers whose produce celebrates the quality, heritage, and tastes of our local area. Many of these businesses use recipes developed over generations, nurture the field to fork experiences, and shine a light on the wealth of good food that our area possesses.

“The opportunity for these producers to have a presence at the shows can help catapult them forward in their business journey. At Balmoral, they can meet industry leading buyers while at the local shows in Lurgan and Armagh, they can engage directly with discerning food lovers from across the borough. I look forward to setting my sights on the many wonderful businesses of the Food Heartland network and having the chance to taste some of their delicious offerings.”

Colin Capper from Rosemount Cottage Farm Meats, attended Balmoral Show in 2022 through a similar opportunity run by the Council’s Food Heartland. He said of his experience:

“Balmoral was huge compared to anything I had done up to that point. I attended two of the days and it was very good. We also got support with preparing for the show which was great as none of us had been before. The experience there, and at Lurgan and Armagh shows, has given me the confidence now to apply and go to any show if the opportunity arises.”

Food Heartland are offering support for at least eight local businesses, who meet the criteria, the opportunity to attend one or more of the shows. To see if your business is eligible or to register your interest, click here. Applications should be submitted before 12noon on Wednesday 15 March 2024.

The successful businesses will also be invited to a workshop on Wednesday 27 March which will provide support and advice on how to prepare and maximise the presence at the shows.

If you would like to discuss this opportunity, contact the Council’s Food Heartland team by calling 0300 0300 900 or email