Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre to contribute to export growth says Tourism NI boss
By Eleanor McGillie
THE chairman of Tourism NI says food and drink producers in Armagh county will play a significant role in turning tourism from an £800million industry to a £1billion industry over the next five years.
Terence Brannigan was speaking ahead of this year’s Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre where, as guest speaker, he will reiterate the importance of the agri-food sector and the fundamental role it plays in tourism which is currently responsible for 40,000 jobs.
Mr Brannigan said over the next five years, it is anticipated tourism will be responsible for 50,000 jobs in our region as our development towards a growth in export continues to be a major focus.
He said Armagh is a county which is home to one of only three European designated foods in Northern Ireland and the Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre is a fantastic platform to showcase, to the rest of the world, how important our connection with our land is.
Mr Brannigan said: “We have the Lough Neagh Eel, the Comber Potato and the Bramley Apple. This is a tremendous achievement for Armagh county.
“People do not come here for the warmth of our climate. They come here for the warmth of our people and the people of Armagh can use the Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre as a great way to showcase how hospitable we are as a region. A huge part of our hospitality is our food.
“Armagh has some very special products, and, as a county, it is the cornerstone of what we are trying to develop.
“Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre forms the foundations stones of what we are aiming to achieve and is perfectly timed to celebrate the end of the harvest and also is perfectly timed ahead of our Year of Food and Drink initiative for 2016.
“Armagh county and the Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre will play a significant part in how we use that in terms of export.”
He added: “If you think about our heritage, our landscape and our background I cannot emphasise how important a fayre like Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre is. This is the main reason why I will personally attend the fayre this year because I too want to experience the warmth of this community and put this fayre in context of its surroundings.
“I will be there celebrating by the side of the local people of Richhill and Armagh county and we will demonstrate how a great atmosphere, mixed with the warmth of our people and the flavours of our landscapes, can be very powerful in promoting a region on a much bigger scale.”
Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre takes place on Halloween Day this year – it’s the last Saturday in a month.
Last year, 2,000 turned up at the fayre to sample and take home the flavour which connects us with our land.
This year, this all-day celebration of all things Bramley Apple, will welcome Mr Terence Brannigan as chairman of Tourism NI who will officially open the fayre at 11am.
All day attractions include talks about Bramley Apples by local experts, a display of rare breed animals as featured on HBO’s Game of Thrones, horse rides for children, storytelling by local bards, children’s entertainment, 30 food stalls and cider alley where Armagh cider producers will be showcasing the fruits of their labour.
There will also be four cookery demonstrations by three of Armagh county’s favourite chefs – Mervyn Steenson of Richhill’s Groucho’s; Dean Coppard of Uluru Bar & Grill and Sean Farnan of the Moody Boar.
Live music and street entertainment will keep everyone smiling and of course, our Tug O’War boys will be out to see who has the greatest strength.
Organisers would like to take this opportunity to encourage as many people as possible to attend the fayre, which is a celebration of the end of the harvest, on October 31. Parking will be available and directions will be in place.
Notes To Editor:
- Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre is an authentic celebration of Armagh’s distinctive local food and drink. The fayre allows people to explore the charm and natural beauty of the orchard county. Experience the fruit of the Orchard County’s labour.
- For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | mgmpr.co.uk | Food and Drink PR | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism Experts | Tourism PR