What an inspiring morning at the Taste the Island workshop in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Sligo. It was great to have Chair Marie Casserly and so many Sligo Food Trail network members actively involved and sharing brilliant plans and ideas. This new Failte Ireland initiative is just perfect for Sligo Food Trail to get involved with. It’s a celebration of Ireland’s food and drink starting in September. Taste the Island dovetails perfectly with what we’re already doing – food experiences, meet the maker, taste of place, events… We just can’t wait to see it roll out and see the benefits it brings!

Sligo has so much to offer and as Tracy Coughlan, Manager Food Tourism, Strategy and Programmes, and Sinead Hennessy Food Tourism Officer emphasised this morning “We know that our food and drink experiences are world class, now we want everyone else to know that too”.

Kicking off in September 2019, Taste the Island will promote the island of Ireland’s extensive catalogue of food and drink experiences to domestic and international visitors, creating opportunities for Irish businesses to attract higher numbers of visitors outside of the already busy summer months.

We are creating an all-island opportunity to showcase our world-class food and drink culture, by providing visitors with access to authentic food and drink experiences and high-quality local ingredients across September, October and November.

The Taste the Island programme will be extensive, including everything from visits to food producers, distillers and brewers; food trails and food festivals; participation in traditional skills; opportunities to forage and fish; and chances to sit back and enjoy the best of modern Irish cuisine in traditional pubs, small-town cafés, restaurants, city bistros and Michelin-starred experiences. That’s just to start with!

This is a three-year initiative and the first tourism programme on an all-island basis. So what are you waiting for? Whether you’re a food producer, a brewer, a barista, a baker, or simply a real food enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in Taste the Island.