Taste Leitrim launches Sustainable Food Trail for 2024

The launch of the 2024 Taste Leitrim Sustainable Food Trail took place on Thursday, April 18th, with events held in 2 locations: Jinny’s Tearooms, Drumshanbo and Glencar teaSHED, Glencar, Co. Leitrim.   Both events were hosted jointly by the Local Enterprise Office (Leitrim County Council), The Food Hub Drumshanbo and Momentum, Leitrim Village (Taste Leitrim Facilitators).  There were many food and hospitality businesses in attendance from across the county.  Attendees got to see and taste some of the delicious food that is produced in Leitrim and got to meet some of the many producers that make Taste Leitrim so successful.

 For 2024 Taste Leitrim has committed to being one of the first food trails in Ireland to highlight its environmentally sustainable ethos which is “Low Carbon, High Adventure”, backed by promotional activities that strive to be ecologically responsible, working to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is also a key feature of the campaign.  Visitors and locals are encouraged go low carbon while travelling the county through use of the excellent Local Link Bus services, electric bikes trails, electric vehicle charging stations, and more, all of which are highlighted on the 2024 map.  There is also a strong focus on picnics and links with Leitrim’s outdoor recreation spaces.  Joe Lowe, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office (LEO), Leitrim, said “The Taste Leitrim Sustainable Food Trail map and new website www.tasteleitrim.com contain all the information anyone would need to find somewhere to eat in Leitrim with almost 120 Taste Leitrim locations to choose from”.

 Lisa O’Connell, Business Advisor, LEO Leitrim shared details with the attendees on the supports available to Leitrim businesses including the Green for Business programme, a free programme and the Energy Efficiency Grant scheme that help small businesses take the first step towards becoming more sustainable.  She encouraged anyone in business in Leitrim to contact the LEO office for more details.  In Drumshanbo, Pascal Gillard from Jinny’s Bakery who has completed the Green for Business programme, spoke about the many challenges of running a food business in the current climate and he detailed some of the sustainability initiatives that his business is making to ensure costs can be reduced as much as possible.  Pascal said, “supports from the Local Enterprise Office can make a significant difference, I would encourage all food and hospitality businesses to definitely connect with them”.

Orla Casey from Momentum emphasised that the campaign was inspired by Leitrim’s long standing sustainability credentials and focus as Ireland’s slow adventure capital of Ireland.  Orla said “Leitrim has been to the fore in sustainable and organic farming for decades.  Since the launch of Taste Leitrim back in 2016, we have consistently worked as a food community to support each other.  That collaborative approach comes naturally to us.  The Food Hub is central to that collaboration and their support of Taste Leitrim is instrumental to ensuring that our trade can benefit at no cost to them.  That is important at a time when costs are a huge challenge.”

Also new for Taste Leitrim in 2024 is a collaboration with Carrick Chamber to support the annual Taste of Carrick food event and closer links with our neighbours in Sligo and their SO Sligo Food Trail.

Taste Leitrim is supported under the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Rural Innovation and Development Fund (RIDF).  You can find details for all the hardworking Taste Leitrim members via the website https://tasteleitrim.com/ or look out for the foldable map in locations throughout the county.

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