Country president says Sodexo Ireland will spend €21 million on local Irish food in 2015.

At the Sodexo Ireland Culinary Masterclass in Ballymaloe on Friday 30th October 2015, Margot Slattery said: “24% of the spend is with verified Bord Bia Origin Green suppliers and a further 10% with suppliers in the process of becoming verified members. As more suppliers are verified, the more those percentages will increase. Seasonality, sustainability, respecting the environment and support for local artisan suppliers are very important to us,” she continued.

The Masterclass, organised and co-ordinated by Julianne Forrestal, executive craft chef for Sodexo Ireland, was led by chef Rory O’Connell, co-founder of the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School and annual Litfest. Over 160 guests attended and included some well-known Irish faces in sport and TV – Sodexo’s health & wellbeing ambassador footballer Stephanie Roche, Michelin-starred TV chef Derry Clarke, a long-time catering consultant to the company, and designer and broadcaster Sonya Lennon, founder of the Dress for Success charity in Ireland. Other guests included food blogger and nutritional consultant Dorcas Barry and Una Fitzgibbon, director of marketing at Bord Bia.

15 chefs and staff were involved in the event and the day before, Rory and Julianne took the chefs foraging in the grounds of Ballymaloe to pick up some homegrown ingredients for the menus at the drinks reception and main event. For the reception, there was a beautifully presented bread and butter table, a smoked and cured fish table, a shellfish table and a salad table followed by a sit down dinner of spiced pumpkin soup, slow roast shoulder of lamb and garden autumn greens with a mouth-watering selection of dessert options and cheeses.

Julianne Forrestal said, “The Masterclass gives our craft team the opportunity to work alongside one of the leading voices in Irish food, in a setting that nurtures creativity and is sensitive to local provenance. This is something that we as chefs are passionate about. The skills and talents of our team are combined to deliver a unique showcase of the very best that Ireland produces.”

Una Fitzgibbon, director of marketing at Bord Bia said, “Working across the entire supply chain, from farm to manufacturing, Origin Green is the only sustainability programme in the world that operates on a national scale. Since launching three years ago in 2012, over 470 Irish food and drink manufacturers have signed up. Many have submitted sustainability plans that have been scrutinised by independent third party agencies and are now actively, and measurably, making a difference across a range of environmental measures in sourcing, manufacturing and social responsibility. “

“At farm level, the number of carbon assessments Bord Bia is undertaking is approaching 85,000. Our ambitious goal of having every farm and every food business in Ireland actively participating in Origin Green by 2016 is on track.” she continued.

Sodexo Ireland, part of the global Sodexo Group the world’s largest services company, delivers services that improve the quality of life to clients in business and industry, education, financial and healthcare markets. It employs approximately 2,000 staff in 200 locations across Ireland and serves 90,000 people daily.

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