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Artisan Food Producers Network

At the National Rural Development Conference in Athlone today, Wednesday, 19 October, Dr. Kevin Heanue of Teagasc called for artisan food producers who wish to join an exciting development project sponsored by the European Union through the INTERREG Northern Periphery Programme, to contact him immediately.

At one of the conference sessions discussing how to link culture, heritage and the landscape to the local economy, Dr Heanue said:” The project provides business support funding to artisan food producers who wish to develop a tourism aspect to their business and join an expanding national and international network of similar businesses.”

The network is based on a successful model developed in Quebec, Canada over twenty years ago, where rural artisan businesses that are supported to develop a tourism aspect to their operations are called Économusée. These Économusée form a tourism based network, or trail which assists the businesses expand sales and sustain employment. To date, two Économusée have been created in Ireland; The Connemara Smokehouse in Ballyconneely, Co. Galway and Celtic Roots in Ballinahown, Co. Westmeath.  Several Économusée have been launched in Northern Ireland as well.   Teagasc, as the Irish partner in the INTERREG Northern Periphery Programme project, now seeks to help two artisan food producers join this network.

For details contact: Dr. Kevin Heanue at 091 845834 or email: kevin.heanue@teagasc.ie

The National Rural Development conference entitled ‘Towards 2020 - Building a Vibrant Rural Economy’, was organised by Teagasc and the National Rural Network.