CLONAKILTY will celebrate 15 years as the country’s first Fairtrade town next month with a gala dinner.
As part of A Taste of West Cork Food Festival, the dinner will take place in Fernhill House Hotel on Sunday, September 16th at 7pm where keynote speakers will be food writer John McKenna.
Clonakilty was awarded Ireland’s first Fairtrade town in 2003.
Jennifer Sleeman, who will celebrate her 89th birthday this year, will be honoured at the event in a short video commissioned by Fairtrade Clonakilty as the visionary who encouraged Clonakilty to be recognised as a Fairtrade town.
Allison Roberts, treasurer of the Clonakilty Fairtrade Committee said: ‘I am passionate about sourcing my own food as local as possible, but some things can’t be sourced in Ireland, or even in Europe and that is where Fairtrade starts to comes in.
‘To celebrate 15 years of Fairtrade we want the Fairtrade movement in Clonakilty to link up more firmly with all other local and ethically-minded food producers and movements here in West Cork. The benefit all of these types of businesses and groups brings to our town is immeasurable. It is essential that such groups work and celebrate together to keep up spirit and momentum.’
Celebrated local chef Caitlin Ruth of Deasy’s, Ring will serve up a feast on the evening: ‘Using food produced locally is key to what we do in Deasy’s restaurant. September is a great time of year for all kinds of growers, we have gluts of perfect vegetables everywhere and makes choosing food that is so abundant and local the obvious thing to do. When food is this fresh, so perfect and accessible it makes cooking exciting.’
Allison, also the founder of Exploding Tree/Clonakilty Chocolate, Ireland’s only Fairtrade bean-to-bar chocolate maker, added: ‘We look forward to celebrating with some amazing local food producers.’
*Tickets for the five course menu, with glass of wine and music cost €50. The’re available from www.flavour.ie/fairtrade