Jobs potential stressed at All-Ireland market launch

THE NEWLy opened Enniscorthy Castle was the venue last week for a reception announcing details of the fourth annual All-Ireland Farmers' Market competition. The event promoted by Wexford IFA and Enniscorthy Town Council will take place on Sunday, June 26 during the Strawberry Fest, with a prize fund of €5,000 up for grabs.

Strawberry festival goers will not only have the chance to admire the merchandise presented by stall holders from all over Ireland. The gathering in Abbey Square will also be a very real market with plenty of goods on offer for sale to the general public.

Friday's launch in the Castle was attended by chef Kevin Dundon who stressed the employment potential of good food sold direct by producers to consumers, as well as to restaurateurs. 'Working together, through food, will assist greatly in paving the road to economic recovery,' he suggested.

Also present was the winner of the 2010 championship, Eleanor Leahy from Nibbles Food Emporium, who looked forward to returning once more for a warm Enniscorthy welcome. She was the first Munster winner of the championship.

Pat Roche, head of Wexford Farmers' Markets, explained how judging will be conducted this year on the basis of quality, traceability, hygiene, presentation, customer service and value for money in Irish produce.

'Farmers' markets add a sense of community spirit and encourage social interaction between urban and rural communities,' commented Enniscorthy Town council cathaoirleach Paddy Kavanagh. He suggested that the market brings fresh life and business into a town such as Enniscorthy, where the stalls are set up each Saturday morning.

The All-Ireland Farmers' Market championship takes place on Sunday week at the Abbey Centre car park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Further information from Mairead Linneen, town development officer at (053)9259315 or email mairead.linneen@enniscorthytc.ie.

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