The Wicklow Naturally AGM was held at An Tairseach Ecology Centre on Wednesday 16th August. Wicklow Naturally is the food and drink network for County Wicklow and An Tairseach, with its ecology centre and farm shop is one of the members . Paula Johnston, Executive Director of An Tairseach welcomed the Board of Directors and many Wicklow Naturally members to the venue for the meeting.
Following the Chairpersons report by Chairperson Pamela Walsh, and the coordinators report by Paul Smith, a presentation was given by Dee Laffan, Food Journalist, Editor , Podcaster and Author. Dee advised members about how food and drinks businesses should engage with media and gave a comprehensive overview on successful social media strategies for food and drinks businesses.
Following her recent retirement from Wicklow County Council, Christine Flood has stepped down from the Board of Directors of Wicklow Naturally. Christine was thanked most sincerely by the other Board Members, coordinators, and network members for her unwavering service to Wicklow Naturally. It was wholeheartedly agreed that Christine’s vision for a food and drinks network for County Wicklow, her tireless work in bringing this to fruition and her generous and continued support has been absolutely vital to the success of Wicklow Naturally to date. The coordinators, Paul Smith and Santina Kennedy gave sincere thanks to Christine for her tireless work and unwavering enthusiasm for Wicklow Naturally. Paul and Santina also thanked Susan Nichols of Wicklow County Council for the excellent support that she and her colleagues continue to offer to Wicklow Naturally.
Paul Smith thanked members for their active participation and in particular thanked member and celebrity chef Catherine Fulvio for her continuous championing of Wicklow ingredients. Catherine regularly uses Wicklow produce in her recipes, both in the media and at her Ballyknocken Cookery School.
A minute’s silence was held for recently deceased member Santiago Balbontin. Santiago was fondly remembered afterwards by other members who had met him while hosting his highly regarded Wicklow Country Berries food stand at various markets.
Following the meeting attendees enjoyed a canape selection made with farm produce from An Tairseach , prepared by Wicklow chef Tadgh Byrne. The meeting was very well attended, and coordinator Santina Kennedy noted that this reflects the growing spirit of cooperation, friendship , collaboration, and support between the members.
The members are now looking forward to a significant series of events for their upcoming October Feast. Details will be announced in the coming weeks on their website WicklowNaturally.ie and on their social media channels.