Foster celebrates the innovation of local food companies

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Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today joined around 60 local food and drink companies, mostly artisan businesses, to celebrate award winning innovation.

The Minister presented Golden Forks to three companies which gained major awards in this year’s Great Taste competition, organised by the UK Guild of Fine Food, at a special event in Cultra.

Arlene Foster said: “The sheer number of awards that have been won by our local companies is an indication of the outstanding quality, taste and innovation of local food and drink products.

“Over the past two years, the achievements of artisan companies have been exceptional. This year we broke our previous records with 65 companies winning around 250 gold stars. Furthermore, nine foods from four companies were listed this year in the Top 50 Foods and three gained major category awards.”

Commenting on the importance of the awards the Minister continued: “The Great Taste Awards are an important measure of the scale of innovation particularly within smaller food companies and the overall health of an industry at the heart of the local economy.

“Business leaders attending last week’s highly successful Northern Ireland Investment Conference were impressed by the high quality of local food. Our local companies have demonstrated that they can compete with best in terms of quality, original flavours, creativity, sales and ambition.”

Attending the event were senior buyers from major retailers such as Harrods, Sainsbury’s, OCADO, Whole Foods, Tesco and Asda.