For the past year, the Irish Echo in the US — Irish America's oldest and largest print newspaper — has been working with Peter Ryan, the Irish Deputy Consul General in New York, to encourage the use of Irish produce at the many Irish events hosted by the paper each year.
These events include the prestigious Index 30 Luncheon each June honouring 30 companies with operations in Ireland & the US and the Golden Bridges Gala in Boston each November which celebrates links between Massachusetts and Northwest Ireland, to name but two.
"We host a series of dinners and luncheons every year, for the most engaged sector of Irish America," says Irish Echo publisher Máirtín Ó Muilleoir. "Indeed, just last week, we had 300 guests from across America at our annual Irish Law & Order Awards which recognise officers in the police, FBI and Federal Marshals service. And while our events always have a strong Irish flavour on the menus, we have really drawn a blank in our efforts to do more to showcase the very best of Irish produce."
|This year's Irish 40 Under 40 Gala Dinner in Manhattan will be held in February 2013|
The 6th Annual Irish Top 40 Under 40 Awards will be honouring the up-and-coming personalities of Irish America, from every walk of life and from all over the United States. The Irish Echo Newspaper is on the trail of Irish America’s young guns for a celebration event to be held in New York City on 21 February 2013.
"Ireland has such a mouthwatering food and drink offering that we feel it really should help exploit this unique platform in America" continued Mr Ó Muilleoir. "We were pleased that Magners, which is upping its game in the US, came on board at our recent hospitality awards but we know we're only scratching the surface."
|This year's Irish Echo Small Business 50 will be held on Friday, April 12 2013|
This year the event organisers wish to include as many Irish Food products as possible, on the menu of their events. The reputation that Irish Artisan Food has developed over the last few years is well known in the US and by presenting more products as part of the banquets it is hoped to further encourage Irish imports by American-based food retailers.
Among the events hosted annually by the Irish Echo are:
The Irish 40 under 40
The Irish Hospitality Awards
The Irish Small Business 50
The Irish Law & Order 50
The New York-New Belfast Conference
The Golden Bridges Conference
|Burren Smokehouse Salmon provided a wonderful competition hamper in 2012|
"In 2012, we did have an opportunity to work with Burren Smoked Salmon to provide a hamper competition for our readers on St Patrick's Day", said Mr Ó Muilleoir. "Wouldn't it be magnificent if we could expand that offering to ensure Irish produce is on the menu at our events rather than just being promoted through competitions.
I have no doubt that when Irish Americans, who revere all things Irish, get to sample the genuine article, they would become magnificent ambassadors for Irish food."
Irish Food Producers Wanted
The organisers of these US/Irish events are looking for Irish food producers, that are in a position to export, to get in contact with them now! They wish to build up the presence of Irish Food, on the menus, at their events and hope that this will encourage other event organisers of similar events to do the same.
If you are an Irish food or drink exporter and you're keen to partner with the Irish Echo, you should email the newspaper's publisher, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir at email@example.com now!