Restaurants and food and drink producers in Mid and East Antrim are to be briefed about how to ensure faster growth through innovative products, processes and marketing by one of the UK’s leading food experts.
Charles Campion, a MasterChef judge and prominent food writer, restaurant critic and consultant, will be visiting a number of companies lined up by the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Economic Development team as part of a strategic commitment to support the profitable growth of food and drink companies in the council area.
Mr Campion will be visiting companies with Food NI, the industry’s marketing body, on Monday and Tuesday to discuss their business plans and to explore opportunities for them to grow their business in Northern Ireland and especially in external markets such as Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.
As a lover of inventive chefs, locally sourced ingredients and freshly cooked food, Mr Campion has a successful track record in advising food producers and restaurants on the steps they need to take to improve business in key areas such as production, sourcing ingredients, promotion and marketing.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Paul Reid said: “We are delighted to host this visit to the area by such a respected and knowledgeable food industry expert. Mr Campion has vast experience of the food industry, especially local sourcing systems, and has provided expert consultancy services to foodservice operations such as hotel kitchens, restaurants and high-end cafes.
“Council is committed to initiatives which will promote the growth of our very significant food and drink sector and keen to encourage companies to invest in areas such as innovation and staff training. Our programme is designed to achieve an important focus to assist companies to develop their business, contribute further to the economic wellbeing and employment opportunities of the area.”
Food NI chief executive Michele Shirlow said: “Charles Campion has been working with us for some time on measures to enhance the local food and drink industry by investing in business development schemes that will enable food and drink producers to grow profitably and food service operators such as hotels and restaurants to strengthen local business and grasp opportunities from the growth in tourism.
“We want to see companies in the area to explore business particularly in Britain where we will be organising a programme of food and drink marketing events during 2018.”
Charles Campion is one of the UK’s most high-profile food critics and a frequent visitor to Northern Ireland. A former restaurateur, he is a respected food writer and restaurant critic. He has written about food and restaurants in the London Evening Standard for over a decade.