Back local food producers call

Howard Hastings (far right) managing director of Hastings Hotels is joined by Everglades Hotel General Manager Stephen Redden, NITB?s Eimear Callaghan and Everglades Hotel head chef Michael O?Neill to showcase some of the local produce the hotel group uses as he urges people to support local food producers to ensure the province continues to offer high quality, local produce.  'Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography

Howard Hastings (far right) managing director of Hastings Hotels is joined by Everglades Hotel General Manager Stephen Redden, NITB?s Eimear Callaghan and Everglades Hotel head chef Michael O?Neill to showcase some of the local produce the hotel group uses as he urges people to support local food producers to ensure the province continues to offer high quality, local produce. 'Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography

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One of the North’s leading businessmen has urged the public to support home grown foods during a visit to Derry.

Hastings Hotels Managing Director Howard Hastings made the appeal during an event in which the Northern Ireland Tourist Board unveiled its plans for 2012 and 2013.

Speaking at the Hastings group’s Everglades Hotel in the Waterside, Mr Hastings said that shopping local would ensure that local producers continue to offer high quality produce.

The Hastings Group has led by example in supporting local producers by using local produce in all of its six hotels across Northern Ireland.

“Food provenance is of major importance to us as a group and is why we are dedicated to supporting local producers and providing our customers with the best produce available, enabling our chefs to prepare and create the most delicious dishes in our kitchens,” Mr Hastings said.

“There is fantastic choice right on our doorstep and we believe it is vital to support local food producers to ensure this choice remains.

“Where possible, all of our meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, dairy produce and bread is locally sourced and we use small, artisan producers who are as passionate as we are about keeping food traditions alive,” he added.

“Northern Ireland has a proud heritage of farming and fishing, resulting in an abundance of sensational produce and at Hastings Hotels we continually strive to give our guests a true taste of this in everything we serve,” he concluded

During the event, the NITB Project Officer outlined the importance of the Derry in the North’s tourism offering over the next 12 months ahead of the UK City of Culture Year.

The events include the Clipper Homecoming Maritime Festival, the Cultural Olympiad and the Peace One Day concert at the newly redeveloped Ebrington Square.

She said that the excitement was building for a “packed” programme of tourism events.