Saoirse's latest role - promoting eco-friendly homegrown food
SHE'S the darling of Hollywood but Saoirse Ronan's latest film role was all about supporting homegrown talent of a different variety.
The actor has been filming at the historic Newgrange site this week, to promote the green credentials of top-quality Irish food. The Oscar-nominated star features in a new video aimed at promoting the Origin Green programme which has already signed up more than 60,000 Irish farms and 350 food businesses committed to more eco-friendly food production.
The video was launched at a Bord Bia seminar on how to expand Irish food exports. Experts from Harvard Business School met Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and Irish food bosses and urged the industry to tap into the growing consumer demand for healthy innovative products in order to sell more of its food worldwide.
Professor David Bell said a small country like Ireland must concentrate its efforts on specialist foodstuffs with added value rather than low-profit basic commodities.
Harvard director of agri-business Mary Shelman highlighted recent success stories in the US such as Blue Apron foods which delivers full meal ingredients and healthy recipes to consumers.
The unprecedented interest of young people in quality food showed the opportunities for small innovative companies to compete against global giants - as shown by the fact craft beers have now captured 14pc of the US beer market, she said.
New meat-substitutes such as "Beyond Beef" were also coming on the market, while new laboratory meat was being developed that consumers might one day "grow" in their own kitchen, she said. Over 85pc of Irish food exports are part of the Origin Green programme.