New Laois food and drink group to be launched by Positive Economist

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

New Laois food and drink group launched by Positive Economist

Helen Gee, chairperson of the new Laois Food and Drink Group with producers.

Laois food and drink producers are uniting to form a new group to promote the county's strong cuisine culture.

Laois Food and Drink Group is to be launched by Positive Economist Susan Hayes Culleton tonight, Tuesday February 2019, in the Midlands Park Hotel.

The economist will give a keynote speech on the Food industry and trends. As the Positive Economist, Susan Hayes Culleton who has Laois connections, is renowned internationally for her expertise and motivational speeches.

Failte Ireland's Sarah Dwyer will also be attending the launch. 

Helen Gee of G's Jams in Laois is the chairperson of the new group. She is also the food rep for Laois Tourism Board.

She is inviting all interested parties across Laois to join them at the Midlands Park at 7.30pm.

She said the idea for a united group began at the Connect 2 Laois for Food event in 2017 by Laois Partnership and Laois County Council, when local producers got to know each other.

"I believe the group is going to be one of the driving forces for Laois tourism. We want cafés and hotels to collaborate with local producers and perhaps have a food trail. We want to get Laois people eating Laois food, to encourage people to buy local, which is all about sustainability as well," she said.

Laois is currently abundant with new food and drink producers she said.

"We have several breweries, porridge and granola companies, breads, jams, chocolate, sauces, and this group will be a way to promote them all and showcase them at tourism events in Laois like the Gordon Bennett rally," Ms Gee said.

The secretary of Laois Food and Drink Group is Niamh Maher from Aghaboe Cakes, and the treasurer is Dave Walsh Kemis from Ballykilcavan Brewery.