Support local fresh produce growers in run-up to Christmas and over the New Year

The aim of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) over the coming weeks is to encourage everyone to discover the diverse range of delicious fresh produce on their doorstep, making the consumer more aware of what's grown here and available right now.

UFU and Veg NI are working with growers and their local supply chain partners to ensure that the supply of fresh, seasonal nutritional produce is available over the coming weeks.

These next few weeks are critical for growers, as they have embraced many demanding challenges over this recent growing season. Fresh produce production is precision growing, delivering quality produce for retail, hospitality and the consumers enjoyment.

Chair of the UFU potato committee David McElrea said: “For many big occasions such as Christmas, food is at the core of our celebrations. Consumers who purchase local homegrown potatoes this festive season are not only making a healthy food choice for their family but can rest assure that they are getting high-quality potatoes produced to some of the highest food standards in the world. Northern Ireland (NI) potatoes are notorious for their flavoursome taste as they are fresher when they arrive in store because they have not travelled far. This festive season, I encourage consumers to be mindful when purchasing their groceries for the celebrations and to choose local produce, helping to sustain our NI potato industry.”

Trevor Gabbie, new UFU vegetable committee chair

Chair of the UFU vegetable committee Trevor Gabbie said: “These incoming weeks for our local producers is a great chance to celebrate the fresh produce that NI is renowned for. We are home to a number of fantastic and unique producers, so I'm delighted that our diverse supply chain options from the farmers gate, farm shops, greengrocers, small and large retail will once again step up and support our local fresh produce growers going into this the busiest time of the year.”

The consumer and all retail collectively have a huge role to play in supporting the producer and the wider local economy. We ask you do choose local NI produce and enjoy all of the diverse and delicious flavours, smells, and rainbow of colour NI produce has to offer. The UFU encourage all to embrace the importance of local and if in doubt check labels for provenance and have confidence it was grown to the highest environmental and quality standard.

The UFU supported the potato, apple producers and Veg NI ‘Parful Produce’ initiative promoting their local campaign at RUAS Balmoral show. Additional information can be found by visiting www.vegni.co.uk.

Arable conference 2023 – Date for the diary

Embargoed to 0001 Wednesday August 29 File photo dated 20/07/14 of fruit and vegetables. Britain's shop prices have risen for the first time in more than five years as the UK's sweltering summer heatwave sent the cost of fruit and vegetables soaring. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday August 29, 2018. The latest BRC-Nielsen figures showed overall shop prices rose 0.1% in August - entering inflationary territory for the first time since April 2013. See PA story CITY Prices. Photo credit should read: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

The 2023 arable conference will take place on Tuesday 31 January 2023 at CAFRE, Greenmount Campus from 9.30am to 4.00pm. The conference jointly organised by CAFRE, Ulster Arable Society and the UFU will update arable growers on current agronomy and business management issues.

The conference will focus on important issues at present, including grain and other field crop markets, fertiliser markets, options to ensure efficient fertiliser use and improving energy efficiency on arable farms.

More information on booking will be available in the coming weeks.

The aim of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) over the coming weeks is to encourage everyone to discover the diverse range of delicious fresh produce on their doorstep, making the consumer more aware of what's grown here and available right now