From Balmoral Show 2013. As agriculture is still the biggest employer, and very much a way of life in Northern Ireland, Baglady Productions went along to the Show to keep in touch with those that work the land!
We have been supporting The Big Lunch at lots of events this year and appreciated the invitation to be based at their stand in The Food Pavilion, helping ensure our ‘As Sustainably As Possible’ message reaches far and wide; and, inspiring Big Lunchers to think about what they can do to protect the environment while having food and fun with friends at their Big Lunch!
The Food Pavilion was set up by NI Good Food who ensured that Northern Ireland’s local producers and local produce was the highlight of the show, with slogans like “Grown here not flown here”.
The bigger stores like Sainsbury’s were focusing on their Freedom Food brand, and how they are engaging with local producers to ensure higher welfare standards with RSPCA’s assurance. Marks & Spencer were sharing less well known local produce such as venison from Finnebrogue Estate in County Down.
There was also goat meat on sale from forward-thinking farms like Broughgammon. The variety of food was exceptional; when it came to tea time I followed my children’s choice, Jolly pies, which turned out to be fantastic! They “don’t want to be the biggest pie company, we want to be the best… We source all our ingredients from farms and suppliers who we’ve dealt with for generations, so we know exactly how the animals have lived and how the veggies are grown.”
For many people the supermarket is still where weekly food shopping happens. Therefore the work they do to educate the consumer is important, and can help deliver local sustainability by supporting local producers and providing consumers with their produce. There are lots of good ideas concerning how supermarkets will change; but for now we, the consumers, can chose where to shop, and what is best local produce.
Organisations like the Soil Association can help inform these choices. Through Good Food For All initiatives like Belfast Food network, “promote sustainable food as a means of enabling positive social, economic and environmental benefits for Belfast and beyond”.