Representatives from the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) and other agri-food industry organisations were on hand this week to champion local breakfast foods at the annual HGCA Farmhouse Breakfast, held at Greenmount College.

The breakfast is a collaborative venture supported by HGCA, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the College College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise, UFU and Food Northern Ireland with ingredients provided by local suppliers and is hosted in advance of HGCA’s Farmhouse Breakfast Week, which encourages people to make time for breakfast and to take advantage of home-grown ingredients.

UFU president Harry Sinclair said: “Delicious, healthy and affordable food is being grown right on our doorstep so we are spoilt for choice when it comes to what to put on our breakfast plates. I would encourage everyone, especially those already in the habit of skipping breakfast, to take advantage of this and to enjoy the benefits of buying local and starting the day with a healthy breakfast.

“The HGCA Farmhouse Breakfast event gives us the chance to celebrate this important industry and to recognise the hard work of farmers, who pride themselves on producing top-quality food. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend a special thanks to all the breakfast partners for their support and contributions today.”

Speaking at the event, Martin Grantley-Smith, HGCA’s head of business development said: “The HGCA is delighted to be a part of Northern Ireland’s Farmhouse Breakfast, which helps to kick off the national event next week. Some 47 per cent of people in the UK regularly skip breakfast during the week and our aim is to not only get the whole nation to ‘Shake up their wake up’ but also to encourage those breakfast skippers to enjoy a healthy, locally produced breakfast more regularly.

“The strong support we receive from Northern Ireland’s farmers and producers is invaluable as we continue to work to raise awareness of the benefits of eating a health breakfast and the extensive choice of locally produced breakfast foods available.”

Pictured at the Farmhouse Breakfast were: John Fay, CAFRE; Robert Moore, RUAS;  Harry Sinclair, UFU President;  Martin Grantley-Smith, HGCA; and Noel Lavery, DARD