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first_imgDonegal’s growing food reputation was enhanced even further last week when producers from the county received a tremendous reaction at the Food and Hospitality Event at the RDS in Dublin with The Food Coast – Donegal’s Good Food Initiative.Joseph Doherty, Inishowen Country Kitchen, Brendan O’Reilly, Donegal Brewing Company, Andrew McElhinney, O’Donnells Bakey and Thomas Hughes, Donegal Rapeseed Oil Co. pictured at Food and Hospitality Ireland 2013 at the RDS DublinFour Donegal food businesses – O’Donnell’s Bakery, Donegal Rapeseed Oil, Donegal Brewing Co. and Inishowen Country Kitchen – attended the vibrant showcase dedicated to Ireland’s food & drink, hospitality and retail sector.The reaction to the produce from Donegal is a clear indication that there continues to be opportunities in the food sector, said Eve Anne McCarron, Business Executive with The Food Coast, Donegal’s Good Food Initiative. “Attending the Food and Hospitality Event was hugely worthwhile in terms of promoting the Food Coast beyond Donegal and the level of interest in Donegal food and the response we received was terrific.“There are clearly business opportunities in this sector, we would urge anyone with the ambition of setting up a business or a food business to consider this sector, that’s something that Donegal County Enterprise Board is anxious to pursue as part of the Food Coast Strategy.”She added: “At a National level, the food sector is playing a key role in our economic recovery, Donegal is in a prime position to benefit from such growth.”Businesses who attended last week’s event in Dublin were certainly in agreement that taking their produce had been very worthwhile. “This was the first time I had attended an event like that as an exhibitor and to be honest I didn’t know what to expect. We had a huge interest from buyers and the reaction to our products and indeed to our story was exceptional,” said Andrew McElhinney of O’Donnell’s Bakery.Joseph Doherty from Inishowen Country Kitchen said the reviews of their products and interest from buyers had been “very positive.”“It was also very helpful to learn how trends are changing among many of the buyers, how they are looking more and more for local produce and how they were attracted to the Donegal products and the whole idea of the Food Coast,” he said.Brendan O’Reilly from Donegal Brewing Co said the event had been very positive overall and there had been a very strong interest to their Donegal Blonde craft beer.“It certainly was a very positive experience and it gave us a great opportunity to learn what some retailers and buyers are looking for and how we can best go about showcasing our product to them.” Thomas Hughes from Donegal Rapeseed Oil agreed that reaction to their products had been fantastic, and he urged anyone thinking of getting into the food sector to press ahead with their idea.“If you can make a success of it now, you will be a success as it is a difficult time but there are still great opportunities for new innovative food products,” he said.All of the Donegal exhibitors agreed that those thinking of setting up a new business should make The Food Coast and Donegal County Enterprise Board their first port of call.“If you have an idea then I’d say get advice from the Enterprise Board and the Food Coast. Discuss it with them and they will talk you through it and give you all the help that you need. Certainly don’t diss it until you try it, there is help there now to be accessed and if you have an idea you really should see if you can get it up and running,” Andrew McElhinney added. DONEGAL FOOD BUSINESSES TOP MENU AT RDS was last modified: September 30th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more