Ireland’s fifth Économusée was officially opened today, Thursday 12th October 2017, at Kelly’s Butchers, Newport by Maireád Lavery, Editor Irish Country Living – Irish Farmers Journal. It’s the third food Économusée in Ireland and is part of an EU funded project led in Ireland by Teagasc.
The Économusée movement is an international network of artisans which was started in Québec, Canada and is spreading worldwide. These rural artisan food and craft producers are supported to develop a tourism aspect to their operations providing a learning and interpretive experience for visitors. In Kelly’s case, the visits will be by pre-booking only. The Économusées form a tourism-based network, or trail, which helps the businesses expand their sales, to sustain employment and offers an enhanced visitor experience.
For over 80 years Kelly’s Butchers in Newport, Co. Mayo have been quietly making their mark with superior black and white puddings, the traditional putóg and speciality sausages. The company motto is “We make up to a standard, not down to a price” a confident declaration of a commitment to premium quality. The family business maintains their traditional methods and recipes, using only the highest quality Irish ingredients. These time-honoured processes are now the focus of the Économusée. Kelly’s sought after artisan products are multiple award winners both in Ireland and internationally.
An Économusée is an important heritage tourism attraction and contributes to the sustainability of rural areas through the creation of direct employment and by providing an attraction that disperses tourists to rural regions. Speaking at the opening, Mairéad Lavery said, “Kelly’s involvement in the Économusée movement arose because of The Craft Reach project, which is led in Ireland by Teagasc and funded by the EU Northern Periphery and Artic (NPA) Programme 2014-2020. The term Économusée is copyright protected and it is a recognised badge of quality which carries the tagline ‘Artisans at Work’. A network of 80 Économusées now exists internationally, with 45 based in Canada and 35 in 7 European countries including Ireland, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Norway and Sweden. There are five Économusées in Ireland. Three are food producers, two are craft based, and there are plans for more in 2018”.
Dr. Kevin Heanue who is leading the project for Teagasc commented, “The ÉCONOMUSÉE concept is an innovative model of rural enterprise support which helps artisan producers diversify their businesses into the cultural tourism market by providing them with a 6 step template to help them structure a visitor experience and also links them with an international network of like-minded artisan producers. The network will benefit greatly from a producer with the reputation of Kelly’s becoming a member”
The Kelly’s Butchers Économusée is well placed to attract the “culturally curious” tourist, who represents a significant market segment in Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland’s marketing strategy. As Seán Kelly said, “The Économusée is all about bringing our history right into the present day. It’s a showcase for the time honoured, traditional ways of making black pudding and a chance for us to introduce visitors to Newport and our local area”.
Picture: At the recent launch of Kelly's Artisan Butchers as Ireland’s fifth Économusée were (front row) Sue O’Toole, South West Mayo Development Company; Sean Kelly; Mairead Lavery, Irish Country Living; Bridin McIntyre, Teagasc; Maria Heneghan, former Teagasc; Kevin Heanue, Teagasc; (back row) Declan Coppinger, Bord Bia; Brian Quinn, Fáilte Ireland and Gerry O’Neill, South West Mayo Development Company, CLG.