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Good Food Ireland highlight vital link between food and tourism
By Joe Dermody
Employment in food and hospitality businesses has doubled during 2013, according to a joint survey by Grant Thornton and Good Food Ireland.
The report, entitled ‘A Foreign Affair — an Ireland abroad experience’, also found that Irish food and hospitality businesses experienced a 63% increase in turnover since 2012; and 90% of businesses believe greater marketing of food could deliver sustained growth for Irish tourism.
Good Food Ireland’s third annual report surveys over 600 food and hospitality businesses throughout Ireland. The report highlights that employment figures across member businesses doubled in 2013 compared with 2012, with 6,200 full-time and 3,100 part-time personnel employed.
These businesses also contributed 14.5% more to the economy spending €64.5m on produce in 2013.
“The timing has never been more right for our nation’s two biggest truly indigenous sectors — food and tourism — to work together,” said Margaret Jeffares, Good Food Ireland’s founder and managing director. “A collaborative initiative has the potential to succeed by creatively partnering and leveraging a unique umbrella marketing strategy, both at home and abroad.”
Along with producers, Good Food Ireland’s members include B&Bs, hotels, restaurants, pubs, cafés, cookery schools and food shops. Its strategy is one of “gastro-diplomacy”, building Ireland’s reputation through its food.
“The idea behind a gastro-diplomacy strategy facilitates a more creative approach for these industries to work together in a unique marketing way both at home and abroad for the benefit of Ireland’s food image.”