Aldi Ireland today opened the doors of the Love Ireland, Like Aldi marquee at the 2013 National Ploughing Championships, showcasing more than 30 of the retailer’s 127 Irish suppliers.

An estimated 30,000 people experienced all things Irish within the marquee, meeting the suppliers and sampling their artisan produce. Visitors to the marquee were also treated to cookery demonstrations incorporating a range of imaginative recipes, skilled butchery demonstrations and visits by comedian and actor Pat Shortt and TV and Radio personalities Hector O’ hEochagain and Ryan Tubridy.

“This will be our fifth year at the National Ploughing Championship and we are delighted to see so many visitors to the marquee engaging with our Irish producers. This is the highest footfall we have yet to experience on the opening day of the event and we are anticipating the numbers to continue to rise as the event continues and the dry weather remains, ” commented Aldi’s group buying director, Niall O’Connor.

“Aldi is a proud supporter of Irish producers with more than 50 per cent of our grocery sales attributed to products supplied by 127 Irish suppliers, producers and manufacturers. Our Irish suppliers are a very important part of our provenance story and our commitment to the Irish market. The Love Ireland, Like Aldi marquee is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the very strong range of authentic, high quality Irish producers working with us and allow the consumer to speak directly to them,” he continued.

The Love Ireland, Like Aldi Marquee showcases over 30 of the retailer’s Irish suppliers including Morgans Fine Fish from Louth; Green Valley Farms in Wexford; ABP Cahir; Annalitten Foods in Monaghan; Callan Bacon in Kilkenny; Carroll Cusine in Offaly; Bewleys and Donnelly Fresh Produce in Dublin; Irish Country Meats in Wexford; Irish Dog Foods in Kildare; Irish Yogurts from Clonakilty in Cork and Iverk Produce from Kilkenny among others.

The Aldi marquee also played host to an impressive cookery area. Eurotoques Young Chef of the Year 2012 finalist, Jack O’Keefe (21) from Cork worked with Aldi’s producers to cook up a storm on the opening day. The culinary guru tantalised taste buds with everything from home made granola to succulent cuts of Irish meat from Aldi.

Visit the Love Ireland, Like Aldi stand at Row E, Block 1, Stand 617 at the National Ploughing Championships 2013, 24-26 September at Ratheniska, County Laois.  Visitors will be in with a chance to win 3 prizes of a year’s free shopping (€5,200 each) or a luxury holiday.