Proudly Supported by Compass Group Ireland
The Blas na hÉireann Buyers’ Showcase returns this week, having last taken place in 2019 at the awards weekend in Dingle. The beautiful surroundings of Killruddery will play host to the Showcase from November 10th to 12th, proudly supported by Compass Group Ireland.
The Buyers’ Showcase is an opportunity for retail buyers from all across the country to come and view the latest Blas award-winning products in an ideal shop setting, with a view to potentially stocking them on the shelves of their own stores. In the past, products have been discovered and deals done at the Blas Buyers’ Showcase that have changed the businesses and lives of Blas na hÉireann producers.
Set up in the wonderful Milking Parlour at Killruddery, a large, spacious venue with open archways onto the courtyard for extra ventilation, this shop floor-style display showcases the 2021 finalists on the shelves, a record year for entries with many new producers reaching the finalist stage, so essentially the very best of Irish under one roof. Retail buyers are welcome to come along and view the Buyers’ Showcase but places are limited and must be registered in advance.
“We’re thrilled to be hosting our Buyers’ Showcase this year,” said Artie Clifford, Chairperson of Blas na hÉireann. “The awards in 2020 and 2021 were all done virtually, and while we were so proud to be able to announce winners each year, we really missed gathering to celebrate our producers and, most importantly, putting our winning products in front of key decision-makers. The Blas Buyers’ Showcase gives attendees the time and space to consider each product and decide if it’s something their customers would enjoy. We are delighted to welcome Compass Group Ireland on board to support this event and are excited by their plans to continue to champion Irish produce and Blas na hÉireann winning products over the coming months across their 130 sites.”
Speaking about the partnership, Deirdre O’Neill, Managing Director of Compass Group Ireland said, “It is our great pleasure at Compass Group Ireland to support this important trade initiative, and to help promote recognition of the very high calibre of Irish food production and the passion and commitment of local food producers. We are delighted that almost 100 of this year’s Blas na hÉireann finalists are either direct suppliers to our kitchens or work indirectly with manufacturers supplying our business. This is a number we look forward to growing over the coming months and years as we work collaboratively with the team at Blas na hÉireann.”
Compass Group Ireland is one of Ireland’s leading foodservices providers, accounting for annual revenue on the island of Ireland in the region of €68 million. The business employs approximately 1,500 people in Ireland, largely across its onsite foodservice operations, and works with Irish food and drinks from 180 Irish food producers and suppliers, spending over €35 million a year on Irish food. Of the 40,000 meals served each day across its 130 sites, over 70% of the food sourced by Compass group Ireland is produced here.