artisanFUNK video launches NI Year of Food & Drink 2016

Shortcross Gin
#artisanNI, a crowd-sourced collaboration of artisan food and drink producers in N.Ireland, has today launched their video, ‘artisanFUNK’  to kick off their part of the NI Year of Food & Drink 2016. To the tune of ‘Uptown funk’ by Bruno Mars the artisans are joined by ‘must see’ cameos from the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Howard Hastings of the Hastings Hotel Group and Pamela Ballantine to showcase their produce with the simple message “Support #artisanNI producers”. With just 9 days to go until the start of the Year of Food & Drink N.Ireland is being encouraged to choose local produce this Christmas and to get ready to join in with #NIbreakfast in January.


Jenna Stevenson, #artisanNI champion, says
“The artisan food and drink sector in N.Ireland is world class. We punch above our weight with one of the safest food chains in the world and some of the most innovative and passionate artisan producers. The sector is thriving. We have young producers like 21 year old Ian Shannon of Plum Pud who makes Christmas puddings in Kilkeel from his granny’s recipe. Also 20 year old Jordan Carroll, passionate about coffee, who set up the Belfast Coffee Co this year and plans to roast new blends from Belfast. The sector is as broad as it is diverse, jam packed with heritage old and new. Harnetts oils comes from land farmed by the same family since the 1600’s and City Cheese is a new Dutch cheese made in the Ards Peninsula by South African Christo Swanepoel, the most passionate cheese connoisseur you’ll ever meet! Most people in NI have no idea these products exist. So the artisan sector has come together in a group called #artisanNI and their message is simple – in 2016 please look for our logo, listen to our stories and try our produce. Buy local and support #artisanNI producers!”

Pamela Ballantine, broadcaster, says

“Food and drink play such a huge role in the lives of people in Northern Ireland, from the producers to the consumers, so I am more than happy to do my bit to help support our artisan food and drink sector and to help to kick off the NI Year of Food and Drink 2016. We should all be proud of our artisan sector as, even though it is small, it has been a major part of our heritage and our economy for hundreds of years. It’s important to showcase the produce of our passionate artisan producers and to encourage everyone to consider a future career in that sector to ensure it continues for another hundred years. The Northern Irish ‘craic’ is well known around the world and our food and drink are at the very heart of that. They are as much a part of what makes up the atmosphere as the music, the venue and the people you’re with. The message to everyone is to get involved with the NI Year of Food and Drink 2016 and to support #artisanNI producers!”

NI Chef, Emmet McCourt, says

“We have a natural connection with the land and great natural resources like our oceans, providing us with the best seafood in the world and the best grass fed beef, lamb and pork. In turn our Artisans have a great relationship with these foods. This is why I’m delighted to be part of ‘Chef’s supporting #artisanNI producers’ as their passion and innovation is a key part of our Food Economy”



#artisanNI is an unfunded, crowd-sourced group of artisan producers in N.Ireland. They have come together as a collaboration to work on joint marketing and sector development initiatives. They meet once a month and organise themselves online through a Facebook group. Jenna Stevenson, Founder of, is their independent ‘champion’ and facilitator and is available to take ideas to the group and to provide comment for the media. Their aims can be viewed online at Their voice and their showcase found at #artisanNI.

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