The celebrity guests at the 2017 Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival will promote the quality, versatility and value of Manx meat and the importance of labelling and marketing.
Ladies in Pigs will take part in the popular annual festival in the Villa Marina Gardens on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September.
Founded by a small group of pig farmers’ wives 26 years ago, Ladies in Pigs now takes part in high profile events all over the British Isles, supports campaigns underlining the value of British meat, judges competitions, publishes a popular blog and recipes and has produced a cookbook packed with easy to create pork recipes.
Sue Woodall, co-founder and chairwoman, said:
‘We support the pig industry by working to increase awareness and consumption of Red Tractor quality assured pork, bacon, ham, gammon and pork products like pork pies and sausages.
‘We are pleased to be attending the Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival in September to demonstrate cooking with delicious Manx pork. We haven’t visited the Island before.
‘We are looking forward to promoting the Red Tractor scheme on the Island and to demonstrating our passion for pork – and our pride in all locally sourced meats.’
Although pork isn’t the predominant product of local farms, the pig industry is worth around £1 million to the Island’s economy.
There is no routine use of antibiotics in the Island. The sector supports wildlife and landscape as well as arable farming by using locally produced grain and pigs are raised to high welfare standards.
Andreas Meats, Dave’s Delicious Dogs, Shoprite and butchers all fly the flag for quality pork produced locally.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, said:
‘From small beginnings, promoting awareness of where meat is reared, Ladies in Pigs have developed a great reputation for their tasty innovative recipes and are well respected for their awareness of food provenance, labelling and marketing.
‘I am sure festival visitors will enjoy the ladies’ entertaining cooking demonstrations.
‘I look forward to welcoming them to our beautiful Island and to introducing them to the great range of high quality food and drink produce for which we pride ourselves.’
The Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival is the biggest annual showcase of Isle of Man food and drink and boasts a produce marquee, tasting opportunities, caterers, demonstrations, activities for children and the finals of the Isle of Man Chef of the Year and Student Chef of the Year competitions.
Last year it attracted more than 10,000 visitors.
For the second year running, the festival will stay open until 9pm on the Saturday, with live music, the festival bar, run by CAMRA, and pop-up events.
Tickets for the festival, sponsored by PokerStars, go on sale in the summer.