A choice of two limited edition hampers have been launched by a group of artisan producers, based on the shores of Lough Neagh, who have come together to create the perfect accompaniment to any festive feast this Christmas. Led by Lough Neagh Partnership, the group, who have developed the hampers in a bid to encourage people to shop local, includes producers like Brambleberry Jams, Bakehouse, Crosskeys Inn, Harnett’s Oils and Hillstown Brewery.
Speaking about the new Christmas Hampers, Gerry Darby, Strategic Manager, Lough Neagh Partnership, said: “The Christmas Hamper collaboration is a first for local producers within 10 miles of the shores of Lough Neagh and is a tangible example of the commitment of Lough Neagh Partnership in working with local artisans to help bring their innovative ideas and creations to the wider public.”
Eimear Kearney, Marketing Manager, Lough Neagh Partnership, added: “We welcome thousands of international visitors to the area every year who enjoy our wonderful array of food products and by creating these hampers we are able to send them a taste of Lough Neagh produce when they are back home in their own country this Christmas.”
The Lough Neagh Artisan Group are currently receiving support under the Agri-Food Co-operation Scheme which is managed by Countryside Services Ltd on behalf of DAERA. The scheme is part of the NI Rural Development Programme and is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
Mandina Fulton from Countryside Services explains the benefits of the scheme: “The Agri-Food Co-operation Scheme offers individual producers the opportunity to work collaboratively with others to bring a project idea to fruition, whilst availing of funding to help develop their skills and market the product or service. Support measures such as social media training, marketing mentors, promotional material and study tours are offered under the scheme. We are delighted to see the progress made by the Lough Neagh Artisan group and wish them well with the launch of their hampers.”
The Gourmet Hamper is bursting with a range of festive goodies from Horny Bull Stout, Harnett’s Rapeseed Oil, Salted Caramel Sauce, Spiced Beetroot Relish, Bakehouse Christmas Cake to Crosskeys Mini Whiskey and Whiskey Glass.
The Luxury Hamper includes Horny Bull Stout, Squealing Pig IPA, two flavours of Harnett’s Oil, Salted Caramel Sauce, Spiced Beetroot Relish, Bakehouse Christmas Cake, Crosskeys Whiskey Marmalade, Crosskeys Mini Whiskey and Whiskey Glass, Ditty’s Oatcakes and Antrim Honey.
Packed in a delightful wicker hamper, the Gourmet Hamper is priced at £44.99 and the Luxury Hamper is priced at £64.99. The perfect addition under any Christmas tree this season, they can be bought from Hillstown Farm Shop, 128 Glebe Rd, Randalstown, Antrim, BT41 3DT or online at: https://hillstownfarmshop.com/butcher/gift-ideas/
Further information on the Agri-Food Co-operation Scheme is available at www.countrysideservices.com