The Backyard at Blas proudly supported by Bank of Ireland is a dedicated space to meet fellow producers, gain knowledge and find support for your business. An exciting line up of speakers will share their experiences to help you group your business.
What’s happening in The Backyard?
Be sure to use this space over the weekend, it is exclusively for our hosted guests, buyers, trade, press and finalist. It will be your place to meet and catch up with people.
Coffee’s will be welcome on a busy weekend and are very kindly supported by Andrew Ingredients.
The Backyard is also right beside our local information desk where we will be happy to share information on the what’s happening local, festival events and even simply just advice on how to find your accommodation or where to find a good pint!
We have an exciting line-up of speakers over the weekend for our Conversations in the Backyard, you do not have to register for these talks just join us, engage with questions and you will be going home with invaluable advice from industry experts, press and buyers.
Conversations in the Backyard
10am Oh the places you’ll go….
Congratulations, today is your day, you are off to great places, you’re off and away….
The time has arrived to make the most of the finalist stage. We are joined by our dream team of mentors who will help with advice and tips on what you can do over the next few days to maximise this opportunity
11am Where do you want to be?
Knowing your brand and strategically thinking about the best channel for your product is a critical success factor, be that retail (large or small), food service or online. Annie Dunne, The Art of Grate Food, ex Harrods & Superquinn will chat with Colin Jephson (Ardkeen), Laura Bradley (Indie Fude), Birgitta Hedin Curtin (Burren Smokehouse), Owen Clifford (Bank of Ireland) and Jason Corrigan (Irish Butchers’ Guild)
12noon The power of a network
Conversation led by Trevis Gleason, chairperson of newly launched Bia Corca Dhuibhne, asking those with experience from established networks for their advice and guidance. Chatting to Olivia Duff from Boyne Valley Flavours, Trudie Power, Wexford Food Family and Conal Stewart, Ards & North Down Food Network
1pm Learning on the job
There is a strong movement to return to apprenticeships across many industries and food production has been proven to place a real value to the skills which can be shared on the job. This discussion looks at how this way of working can strengthen your team, improve skills and keep your crew happy and committed at work.
Russell Alford & Patrick Hanlon (GastroGays) host this discussion with Jess Murphy (KAI Galway), Shane Smith (Chef)
2pm Can you prepare a perfect pitch?
Annie Dunne The Art of Grate Food (ex Harrods & Superquinn) will chat with Drew McIvor, Invest NI and Ian McMorrough (Bank of Ireland) on why being able to communicate what your brand stands for quickly and effectively is essential to gaining the attention of potential buyers. Whether it’s one minute or 15 minutes, getting your most important points across is worth preparing for.
3pm My greatest mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, for smaller producers this can seem daunting and often insurmountable. We have asked established producers to share their experience about times when they had made a big mistake and how they overcame this challenge
Malachy O’Connor chats with producers from some of the brands you know and love
4pm Irish Food, the matters and challenges that are uniquely Irish
Hosted by Dee Laffan of the newly launched Scoop Magazine a biannual magazine that shares the inside story of Irish Food Dee will be joined by Ali Dunworth (Food & Travel Writer), Caroline Hennessy (Chairperson IFWG) chatting all things Irish food culture, history and trends
10am Buyers Masterclass – Streamed into the Backyard from the Blas Auditorium
11am Breakfast of Champions
Brian McDermott our 2021 Producers’ Champion chats with Johnny & Laura from @IndieFude Interview with Johnny & Laura from Indie Fude about what makes them passionate about promoting the best of Irish and what trends they are excited about
12noon Sustainable practises
Artie Clifford chats with Conor Spacey about the practical things you can do to make your business more sustainable and more importantly why you should
In the spring sessions this online conversation was requested by so many producers to listen back that we just had to bring it in person to The Backyard, the feedback was that it was inspiring, insightful and above all practical and rooted in reality
1pm Taking it on board
Interview with past finalists who have worked through the mentoring programmes sharing their learnings and successful outcomes
You can watch back on each of the sessions, full playlist can be found here
Friday 30th September
- 10am Oh the places you’ll go…. https://youtu.be/mdXrerAbr4k
- 11am Where do you want to be? https://youtu.be/3AfKAfs4HWE
- 12noon The power of a network (https://youtu.be/ZwJDN5m-Ajc)
- 1pm Learning on the job (https://youtu.be/qYLO3fIcY1c)
- 2pm Can you prepare a perfect pitch? (https://youtu.be/fg47ID_KJrU)
- 3pm My greatest mistakes (https://youtu.be/xKmTFMJUAPI)
- 4pm Irish Food, the matters and challenges that are uniquely Irish https://youtu.be/B4I3TMtXJnQ
Saturday 1st October
- 10am Buyers Masterclass (https://youtu.be/D7LopucGO4c)
- 11am Breakfast of Champions (https://youtu.be/DuY6gKUYwHo)
- 1pm Taking it on board https://youtu.be/3y-8356M_R0 https://youtu.be/_UHJfTvKpw0