Ann’s Pantry lets Commons eat cake

L-R: John Agnew of Ann's Pantry  Larne, with William Orr of Orr's Potatoes, Comber and Jim Shannon MP. INLT-13-703-con
L-R: John Agnew of Ann's Pantry Larne, with William Orr of Orr's Potatoes, Comber and Jim Shannon MP. INLT-13-703-con

Breads and cakes from Larne bakery Ann’s Pantry were among hundreds of Northern Ireland products showcased at a House of Commons event.

The local business was one of 14 Northern Ireland companies whose produce was on display at the prestigious event on March 16.

Food NI was invited by local MPs David Simpson and Margaret Ritchie as well as members of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee to carry out a presentation to highlight the Province’s food and drink.

Visitors to the event were able to learn more about Northern Ireland’s food heritage and to talk to many of the producers, learning of their dedication to maintaining the highest production standards in the development of innovative food and drink.

Food NI Chief Executive Michele Shirlow said: “We introduced top politicians, officials and other guests to many of our fantastic flavours of Northern Ireland as we mark our first Year of Food and Drink.

“This was a momentous occasion and an opportunity to showcase the innovation in food and drink.

“There was a fantastic buzz throughout Westminster as a result of the event and we were delighted with the reaction from Parliamentarians from across the UK.

“It was a terrific opportunity to highlight the breadth and quality of the output from our processors and farmers in the ‘corridors of power’ at Westminster and is a further example of Food NI’s focus on intensely practical support for companies to expand sales in Great Britain, still our most important market outside Northern Ireland.

“Great Britain is a market that’s easy to access and to service.

“It’s sound business sense to invest time and other resources on exploiting the huge

opportunities there today from the import of £40 billion annually worth of food and drink.

MP David Simpson commented: “It was an honour to welcome Government representatives from across the UK to sample a small selection of the fine produce we have to offer.

“Both Margaret Ritchie MP and I have worked closely with Food NI to ensure that this year’s invites highlight the fantastic standard of food we have to offer consumers right across the world.

MP Margaret Ritchie added: “It was wonderful to welcome Food NI and Northern Irish food producers to Westminster to showcase the world-class quality of our produce.

“The event highlighted the skills of our agricultural sector and allowed farmers and processers to express their concerns with MPs and Ministers.