Two events last weekend provided ample evidence of the potential for the food business with great numbers attending the Iverk Show in Piltown and the Harvest Festival in Waterford city. They were both very successful and suggested that jobs potential in this sector could be realised. Self employment is a large growth area and a conference in Waterford proved that many newly unemployed are seeking new business options.

We see the food industry as a great provider of the future as Waterford has to move forward after losing so much industrialisation following the closure of so many factories. The inaugural food festival as you will read on Business 4 was a huge success. Many of those attending were local this year but, as the event gathers strength, there will be visitors from other regions of Ireland and overseas.

Food Minister, Trevor Sargent, performed the opening duties and it is good to see a Green Party Minister support this initiative as it is close to his Party ideals. The ‘Slow food on a Budget’ talk proved very successful as people learned how to make tasty food cheaply. The event in the People’s Park proved an enormous success with huge crowds there enjoying the food and sun. There were some real bargain foods available too. Nearly 3000 attended and among those was hurler Eoin Kelly.

Well done to Waterford City Council for its work and investment in this area

and showing the vision that this event can grow in the future. There were a huge number of stand holders on John Roberts Square catering for a wide variety of interests with lots of food, bread, jams, fruits and drinks on sale. There was also an ethnic mix, well done to all who took part and making such a great effort.

Speaking to some of the attendees, some had already eaten lunch and would have had it there such was the quality of food on offer. Snacks there were also priced reasonably. The beach proved attractive for many with some traders feeling they could have sold more but next year should be different.

The Iverk Show committee is also very happy and there may be a new date next year as the postponed show on Saturday proved so popular. Having a fine day also helped after such a dreadful August. Well done also to the committee and community on their work.