Cranswick Country Foods named as a new sponsor of BOI Open Farm Weekend

Ulster Farmers' Union president Barclay Bell and pig farmer Malcolm Pollock, Garvagh, with representatives from Cranswick Country Foods, Ballymena, launching Cranswick's sponsorship of Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Ulster Farmers' Union president Barclay Bell and pig farmer Malcolm Pollock, Garvagh, with representatives from Cranswick Country Foods, Ballymena, launching Cranswick's sponsorship of Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend has acquired a new sponsor, leading pork processor Cranswick Country Foods.

Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend chairman and UFU president Barclay Bell welcomed the new sponsorship.

“We are delighted to have the support of Cranswick Country Foods and look forward to working in partnership with them during Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend 2018. As a leading pork processor, their involvement will help us to tell the complete farm to fork story and promote the local agri-food industry across Northern Ireland.

“In order to keep Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend events free to the public, we rely heavily on all our sponsors for their generous support and we are grateful to have Cranswick Country Foods join our list of corporate sponsors.”

Cranswick Country Foods NI’s site director Tony Demaine said: “At Cranswick Country Foods, we seek to maintain a sustainable and ethical supply chain from farm to fork and initiatives such as Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend help us honour this commitment. We want to support and celebrate the work of farmers in Northern Ireland and we also value this opportunity to engage with the wider public and share with them our passion for producing high quality pork produce.”

Cranswick Country Foods’s Ballymena site employs over 400 people and currently processes around 11,000 pigs per week. Since acquisition in November 2016, Cranswick Plc are making substantial investment in the site to plan for an exciting future at their Northern Ireland business and the Northern Ireland pig Industry.

Recruitment for farms willing to participate in Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend 2018 is now open. The event will run on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June with school visits, by prior arrangement, planned for Friday 15th.

In addition to the service of a mentor, farmers that sign up to host will also be given training in advance and a range of resources to help them get prepared for the public coming onto their land. To register your interest email info@openfarmweekend.com or call 028 9037 0222.

The Ulster Farmers’ Union led initiative, principally supported by Bank of Ireland UK, seeks to educate the public about where their local food comes from. To date over 87,000 people, including children via the schools programme, have visited a wide range of working farms across Northern Ireland, helping them to have confidence in local farming practices and have a greater appreciation for where their food comes from.

For more information on the initiative, visit the website www.openfarmweekend.com, follow @BOIopenfarm on Twitter and like Open Farm Weekend on Facebook.