The Irish Organic Farmers & Growers Association (IOFGA) in association with Slow Food Ireland has sponsored a bursary for a student to study for a Diploma in Speciality Food Production on a course which is run by University College Cork. The recipient of the bursary is Nicola Hassett who is using the opportunity to research a number of enterprise opportunities for her 25 acre holding near Dunmanway in West Cork. The bursary will cover her fees for the course which she will complete in 2009.
“IOA is delighted to support this innovative course in food production, as Irelands largest organic certification body we recognise the need to develop further value added products for the ever expanding organic market and by doing so, support the development of import substitution.which is so valuable to our economy.”, said Kate Carmody, , IOFGA.Chairperson
The course, which is the first of its type on Ireland was developed by UCC in partnership with Slow Food Ireland, CAIS (The Irish Farmhouse Cheesemakers Association), Ballymaloe Cookery School and the Veterinary Dept, Cork County Council. The course, which is in its fourth year, is aimed at people who would like to work in the speciality food sector or those already in the sector who would like to enhance their skills. It aims to support the rapidly developing interest in Ireland in organic, artisan and speciality foods including farmhouse cheeses, smoked fish, fresh and specialist meats including charcuterie, poultry and pork products, honey, sauces and condiments.
The Irish Farmers and Growers Association (IOFGA) is the largest organic certification organisation in Ireland representing approx 1,000 farmers, growers and processors. It is responsible for certifying the organic provenance of its members produce and the IOA symbol indicates that a product has met the highest standard of organic integrity. IOA also works to inform the public about the benefits or organic food and to support the development of organic food production in Ireland.
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For further information contact:
Kate Carmody tel 086 823 9582