Platinum sponsors for 147th Balmoral Show

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The Balmoral Show in partnership with Ulster Bank has announced SPAR, M&S, ABP, Tesco and latest addition LIDL, as platinum sponsors for the next Balmoral Show.

Speaking at the platinum sponsor’s breakfast, Colin McDonald, RUAS chief executive, said: “This is the occasion when each of you announces that you are to be Platinum sponsors of our wonderful event.

“Of all the aspects of the Balmoral Show, this is one of the most enjoyable. We’re all relaxed among friends. And it is as friends that I formally welcome you on behalf of the president and thank you from everyone here at Balmoral - not just for your generous support but for the contribution you make to the success of the show. In particular for your investment of a considerable amount of time and resources.

“A traditional agricultural show consists of many discrete elements which come together to create the event. Sponsorship is essential to ensure an overall success but it is also important that these individual elements are represented through the individual sponsors. Especially since they are the same elements as found in the agrifood industry that the Balmoral Show aims to promote.”

Following McDonald’s welcome the five platinum sponsors spoke of their plans for Balmoral Show 2015 as well as their businesses in the agri-food sector.

Liam McCarthy, supply chain development manager at ABP remarked: “ABP Food Group is privileged to continue its Platinum Sponsorship of the Balmoral Show in 2015 as the event goes from strength to strength at Balmoral Park. ABP has been developing an ethos of ‘Investing in the Community’ and what better way to demonstrate this than by providing support for the agricultural community’s largest event in Northern Ireland.

“As one of Europe’s leading food processors, ABP Food Group, naturally, has a dependence on its raw material and the thousands of farmers who supply this. Therefore it is of prime importance that we are visible, accessible and can clearly promote our requirements to them, and in Northern Ireland there is no better stage for this than at the Balmoral Show.

“Through our sponsorship of the show, the provision of a welcoming and informative pavilion and the support of beef cattle judging, we hope to continue to add to our investment in the agricultural community.”

Glen Cinnamon, regional director, Lidl Northern Ireland commented: “We’re delighted to be part of the Balmoral Show once again, and this year to do so as a platinum sponsor. Our presence demonstrates our ongoing committment to Northern Ireland and supporting the agri-food industry is central to that committment.

“Since opening our first store in 1999 in Cookstown, Lidl has developed meaningful partnerships with more than 40 Northern Irish suppliers, purchasing over £80 million worth of local produce in 2014.

The Balmoral Show is an important part of the Lidl calendar because it lets us showcase the many things we’re doing on-the-ground as part of Our Committment to Northern Ireland.

This year, we plan to increase our footprint and visibility at the show. We’ll showcase our 360 degree committment to Northern Ireland, which includes employment and recruitment, local produce and suppliers, charity and community partnerships. We’ll introduce visitors to many more local suppliers and provide cookery demos, a full calendar of activities and a few surprises along the way. “

Ryan Lemon, M&S head of region for NI said: “Marks & Spencer is a long-standing supporter and trade exhibitor at Balmoral Show and we’re proud to once again be involved in this our 13th consecutive year as a platinum sponsor.

“The show provides us with an ideal platform to communicate our strong commitment to the agri-food sector and to build and strengthen relationships with farmers and food producers.

“M&S will once again sponsor a selection of the beef livestock classes and we look forward to welcoming many of our local producers to the cattle lawns at Balmoral Park.

“Over the three days of the show we will highlight the specialists who bring the best of regional food to our 18 stores here every week. 

“Moreover, in addition to our farmers and growers being able to call onto the M&S stand and meet the M&S teams, we will be hosting a series of specific farmer and grower meetings.

“We will also acknowledge the dedication and commitment our suppliers are making towards sharing best practice amongst the agricultural community at the seventh Farming for the Future Award ceremony.  The award scheme aims to deliver improved technical efficiency, reduced environmental impact, high standards of animal welfare, inspiration for the farming industry and engagement with our customers.”

Bronagh Luke, head of corporate marketing at Henderson Group, owners of the Spar franchise in Northern Ireland remarked: “We are absolutely delighted and proud to be a Platinum sponsorship of the Balmoral Show for the 5th year. Spar has a proud and long standing association with the agri-food industry throughout Northern Ireland.  The Balmoral Show, as heart and soul of the agri-community, is a key event in our annual calendar.

2015 brings a renewed focus on our support for NI growers and farmers.  We will be showcasing some exciting new developments under our ‘Famous for Fresh’ strategy and we will once again show our appreciation to our local suppliers at our annual Local Supplier Awards event. We are excited to sponsor the new addition to the show, the SPAR arena and we look forward to the family focused entertainment provided there.”

Rounding up the platinum sponsors, Cliff Kells, commercial manager, Tesco concluded: “Tesco is very proud to have been supporting the Balmoral Show for more than a decade, and especially, to continue our Platinum sponsorship for a fourth year. The show is the key event in our calendar of support for local farmers and rural communities all over Northern Ireland. We are delighted to sponsor a wide range of activities at the show including the popular Tesco Children’s Farm, Commercial cattle classes and the helpful Tesco Showmakers. In addition, the Tesco Cookery Theatre will be cooking up a storm in the FoodNI marquee. And, for the first time we look forward to welcoming visitors to the brand new Tesco main stand adjoining the FoodNI marquee.

“Tesco has an enormous commitment to sourcing Northern Ireland produce. Our annual purchasing currently from NI stands at over £580m and we will continue to work hard to increase this figure through all the activities we undertake to help connect the public with where their local food comes from. We purchase from all the key agri-food sectors in Northern Ireland, and our participation in the Show reflects our commitment to the local agri-food economy. It’s an excellent way to engage with both customers and producers.

“We are committed to providing opportunities to more food producers to develop their businesses with Tesco.”

The event ended with Billy Robson, RUAS president welcoming the sponsors and media to the event and thanking them for their continued support during his time as president and wishing them every success for the 2015 Balmoral Show.

The Balmoral Show in partnership with Ulster Bank runs from 13th-15th May at Balmoral Park.

To keep up to date with 2015 Balmoral Show News check out the website www.balmoralshow.co.uk, Facebook: Balmoral Show and Twitter: @balmoralshow.