Food was the focus at this year’s Waterford Chamber President’s Lunch as guest speaker Jim O’Toole, CEO of Bord Iascaigh Mhara joined Chamber President Paul Nolan, Group Development Manager at Dawn Meats, in addressing a capacity crowd at Waterford Castle.
The annual business lunch, which is sponsored by CPL Resources, is one of the highlights on the Chamber calendar and brings together key stakeholders within the region for informal networking and a delicious meal, which of course featured Roast Sirloin of Beef from Dawn Meats and locally sourced fish.
Making his first corporate address as incoming President, Paul Nolan, in welcoming the large attendance, said: “Collectively we have achieved a lot to be proud of in Waterford in the toughest of times, particularly over the past decade. We look forward to the fruits of recent positive announcements but all of this will need state support in terms of increased capital spend, in which the Government has been lacking in ambition.”
Mr Nolan went on to say that it is incumbent on Government to seek whatever changes are necessary in state aid rules to re-direct 5% of its annual budgets for capital projects that the country, and particularly the South East urgently requires. He appealed to all business organisations in Waterford and the region to work together in highlighting the benefits of regional collaboration so that the strongest cohesive case can be made to Government.
Sharing his perspective on the importance of the food economy, Jim O’Toole said: “The interrelationships between the green economy and the blue economy in terms of sustainability and seafood are integral to driving and developing the local economy across the country, but never more so than in the South East. From Dunmore East to Kilmore Quay, the seafood industry is a vital cog in the region’s economy, right through to small artisan producers which are growing in numbers across Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and beyond. Among them you have an industry that is vibrant, sustainable and above all a driver of job creation.”
The Waterford Chamber President’s Lunch is sponsored by CPL Resources, with a drinks reception provided by Claire’s Cordials.