UK supermarket Marks and Spencer (M&S), platinum sponsor of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society’s (RUAS’s) annual show, will show its support for local agriculture by showcasing regional products at this year’s Balmoral event.

Northern Ireland is a major supply region for the M&S food business with beef, venison, chicken, potatoes, bread and eggs produced not only for Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland stores, but also for many stores across the UK.

“Over the four days of the show, M&S will showcase our suppliers who bring the very best of regional food to our stores here,” said head of agriculture at M&S, Steve McLean.

“They include father and son, Maurice and William Kells who farm together in Co. Armagh rearing beef for us through Linden Foods, alongside a number of local farmers who supply M&S with high-welfare, fresh eggs through Skea Egg Farms.

“Customers will be able to meet both new chicks supplied by Skea Egg Farms, and two Wagyu calves provided by Keith Williamson of Linden Foods, our meat processing partner in Northern Ireland.”

The company will also showcase its commitments to farming sustainability at the event though a selection of “interactive consumers experiences”.

It will also host the M&S Select Farm Awards on the first day of the show, presenting a series of awards to its Select Farmers who have demonstrated best-in-class practices in terms of innovation, welfare, sustainability and biodiversity.

Visitors will also be able to see live chef demonstrations, where M&S demo chef Adam Palmer will cook regional and seasonal dishes, alongside local M&S suppliers, showcasing the very best of M&S products.

Overall, McLean said the company is “delighted” to return to the show, and added that it is “the most important event in the rural calendar”.

The 153rd Balmoral show takes place from Wednesday, May 11 to Saturday, May 14, at Balmoral Park in Lisburn.