County Wicklow – sustainability matters in our beautiful Garden of IrelandWicklow Naturally
By SANTINA KENNEDY
Step into Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland, and you are stepping into a county steeped in natural beauty which is renowned for it’s food and drink and rugged mountaintops which overlook a vast national park of heather cloaked bogs and glistening lakes.
It’s the county where clear mountain streams trickle down through a patchwork of rolling hills, meadows and pastureland, under pretty village bridges and into the Irish Sea.
Wicklow’s coastline lists blue flag beaches, cliff walks and safe harbours among its treasures. No wonder people are yearning for The Garden of Ireland to be open again.
And also, stepping into Wicklow is stepping into an unspoilt landscape as its natural features are a fertile ground for farmers and food producers.
Wicklow’s many food businesses recognize that their workplace is special, a treasure from which they can reap nature’s bountiful supply, or simply be inspired by its outstanding natural beauty. There is a desire among Wicklow’s farmers as well as food and drink producers to enhance what nature provides, without damaging its delicate balance.
Sustainability is often used as a buzz word but not here in County Wicklow. It is a word which is currently used by many food and beverage producers worldwide as a marketing tool.
But, here in Wicklow – The Garden of Ireland – sustainability is truly at the heart of the ethos of our food and drink producers and it’s at the heart of everything we do at Wicklow Naturally.
Keen to protect the resources from which Wicklow food and drink producers draw their inspiration and their ingredients, our food and drink producers go to great lengths to ensure sustainability is the foundation stone of their endeavours.
Each of our producers has a unique story which you can read about in our Food and Drink Listings
It’s their stories which combines their passion for quality food and drink with their desire to create great tasting, high quality produce while respecting our unrivaled surroundings.
There are so many food and drink producers doing great things in terms of sustainability and Wicklow Naturally encourages all members to think sustainably, act sustainably and promote their sustainable efforts.
Food and Drink
Pamela and Brett at Wicklow Way Wines (Winery) have put sustainability at the core of their production so much so that it pours freely from every delicious bottle of their Móinéir wine. Using Irish fruit, low food miles is only the first step in their sustainability journey. Their commitment to using Irish berries is an inherent part of their product. Their impressive personal dedication to sustainable living appears to spill over almost effortlessly into their wine production. A trip to their winery will inspire the visitor to make more sustainable choices in their own lives as they detail their almost zero waste processes, choosing sustainable energy sources and using local suppliers.
Rohan O’Duill at Rohan’s Sauces has a commitment to deliver delicious honest, natural foods to local shops in a convenient jar of cooking sauce. This Wicklow brand showcases how we can all be more health conscious and work towards a sustainable future with all plant-based ingredients and 100% recyclable packaging.
At Baileys Farm their best practice in modern farming techniques has brought this family run farm to both national and international prominence in recent years. The team focus on the highest values in ‘sustainable’ food production. Environmental integrity is greatly preserved and maintained through modern production methods aimed at reducing their carbon footprint. Five hectares of the land has been given over to fen bog, natural woodland and wild meadow where a large variety of flora and fauna thrives under protection of Irish and EU law.
Our member Rhoda Kirwan of Rhoda Cocoa uses ethical ingredients, such as single-source, fairly-traded cocoa, as well as ensuring her packaging is sustainable. Previously her chocolate bars had a plastic sleeve on them and that was a bone of contention for a long time, but she’s delighted to have switched to a fully compostable sleeve. All of Rhoda’s packaging is recyclable or compostable. She doesn’t use bubble-wrap at all. Rhoda packs out boxes with paper and the boxes are recyclable. Not only does she adopt sustainable practices for her business but she brings her efforts into her home also.
BrookLodge and Macreddin Village is another County Wicklow business which aims to help build the future for sustainable, environmentally friendly tourism. As an industry leader BrookLodge strives to consistently maintain and update its reduction, reuse, recycling and energy-saving policies. It also promotes the sale of local organic products which are grown naturally and traded fairly.
The Garden of Ireland
These are just some of the examples of the wonderful food and drink producers in Wicklow, so inspired by our surroundings that they have found ways to imbue that respect for nature into their produce.
Wicklow plays host to many other farmers and food producers who are using the fruits of the land to proudly deliver a taste of the Garden County to Wicklow’s own communities and to its visitors.
With sustainability at the heart of their production, they ensure that we can continue to enjoy their delicious food and drink while also continuing to protect our unspoilt surroundings.
So, visit Wicklow when we re-open, come into the Garden of Ireland with us and enjoy our cherished landscape. Have a taste of what we have to offer, safe in the knowledge that our local food producers strive to preserve this exceptional environment for generations to come.
- If you would like to join Wicklow Naturally as a member please fill out the Contact Form or email firstname.lastname@example.org