Good Food Ireland was brought to life in November 2006 by its Founder Margaret Jeffares. With some twenty years’ experience working in international tourism marketing and development, Margaret identified a major gap in the market to link Ireland's two biggest indigenous industries, agri-food and tourism hospitality and to create a brand centred on promoting the island’s food and drink produce and culinary cuisine as an economic driver in tourism. Since then, projects and endeavours have greatly benefited approved members, creating previously unexplored commercial opportunities, driving revenue throughout Ireland's regions and to local communities. Authentic and local have fast become key drivers in global tourism with good food now at the heart, defining and framing the experience. Good Food Ireland continues to bring Ireland's food story to the world, connecting lovers of great food with its collections of local, authentic places to stay, eat, cook and shop as well as with farmers, fishermen, food producers, craft brewers and distillers all over the island of Ireland.
The Vision Works
While pioneering food as an economic driver in tourism, "opening doors" for food and drink producers, demonstrating a clear understanding of Ireland's unique culture, environment and people, developing Ireland's reputation and building recognition of the country, Good Food Ireland commissioned Grant Thornton to carry out Business Insights Surveys and the outcomes speak for themselves.
To view Grant Thornton Business Insights Surveys click on the links below:
"Food Tourism and Culture have become the leading hook in travel, with authenticity the single most important movement driving consumer behaviour today" Conde Nast Global Insights at touRRoir16 Dublin
The Story Behind Good Food Ireland
Written by Dianne Curtin, Journalist, Author and Irish Food Writer
In 2006, Good Food Ireland, a benchmark brand for food tourism in Ireland was born. The brainchild of its founder Margaret Jeffares, it grew organically from a need to link the agri-food and tourism sectors in Ireland to create standout and recognition and drive economic opportunity. This new standard of guaranteed trust and honesty in food set the scene for a new kind of tourism. One which embraced the country’s legendary food production, farming and fishing heritage, as an essential part of the visitor experience.
The first businesses to join the Good Food Ireland network were the proud soldiers of this new food tourism movement, fully believing in promoting Ireland through its good food and warm hospitality. They welcomed the opportunity to stand together as a band of like-minded people under the pioneering movement of Good Food Ireland, to highlight Irish food tourism on the world stage. From these small beginnings a connected family has grown. These last ten years have seen many businesses join the early siblings. Good Food Ireland has become a standard to aspire to in the hospitality industry, raising the bar in food tourism, with members who are fully focused on being part of a pioneering standard which champions an authentic Irish food and drink experience. From farmhouse B&B’s, cafes and coffee shops, to restaurants, food shops and delis, hotels, country houses and guesthouses, to cookery schools, food and drink producers and artisan specialists, each and every one of these members fly the flag for the best Irish food and drink. The network continues to grow every day, to form a solid core of people who share the vision to give the best possible food experience in Ireland and put Ireland's food and drink produce and culinary cuisine on the world stage. The distinctive Good Food Ireland logo signals a rewarding Irish ingredient led experience for every visitor, every time. Members are proud to highlight local and Irish produce and craft drinks on their menus. They actively and conscientiously source the best quality local and seasonal ingredients, so that every meal or food and drink produce has its own story of Ireland to tell. Of that they are very proud.
Lots of things have changed since the early days of Good Food Ireland. The original members have become old and trusted friends. It also now has a new wave of youth and innovation among its network. Some of the businesses are now in the hands of the second generation, taking them forward to the next phase in their development and ensuring their continuation into the future. All members are committed to working with Good Food Ireland to bring Ireland’s food culture to visitors in a variety of ways. Their latest achievements include the launch of Good Food Ireland Signature Food Experiences and Culinary Tours, which directly connect tourists to producers, growers and food establishments via gourmet and cultural journeys of discovery throughout Ireland. The story is still being written.
Especially for the tenth anniversary in November 2016, they celebrated their journey together as a family, with Good Food Ireland’s Best of the Decade Awards. These awards highlighted those members who have made their own mark on the whole story of the last ten years. They honoured their magnificent contributions to a very exciting period in the development of Irish food tourism. And we very much look forward to the next decade of Good Food Ireland’s growth and development on the global stage, and to meeting new friends who share their ideals to work tirelessly to maintain and grow Ireland’s reputation as a world class food tourism destination.