Minister tastes success from UK food event

Sep 26, 2007

Economy Minister Nigel Dodds congratulated Northern Ireland’s gold winners of the UK Great Taste Awards for their innovation and quality.

Mr Dodds was speaking at a special reception, organised by Invest Northern Ireland, for the 14 small companies which gained a total of 24 gold awards in the UK’s most prestigious food industry event, held in London.

At the reception in Belfast, the Minister presented two special awards - Mrs Suzanne Smyth of Drumgooland Smokehouse, Castlewellan, the overall Northern Ireland winner, for her Hot Smoked Salmon, and the runner-up Paul Getty of Heatherlea Bakery, Bangor for his Rich Fruit Loaf.

Mr Dodds said: “Winning a Great Taste Award is clear recognition of the quality of innovation within the food industry, especially within the small business sector.

“Over a third of all manufacturing sales in Northern Ireland derive from the food, drink and tobacco sector, which shows just how important the industry is to our economy. Speciality food is an important and growing segment within the overall grocery market with sales in the UK worth £3.6 billion in 2006.

“Year-on-year the sector shows growth as consumers trade up to better quality food and drink; they are increasingly looking for innovation, for authenticity, for provenance and above all, for great taste.”

Invest NI recognises the contribution of the food industry to the health of the local economy and it has taken significant steps to increase its practical support to companies across a broad range of areas including marketing, new product development and design.

Minister Dodds said: “Invest NI’s Food division has a team of highly experienced people and an unrivalled package of support to help grow sales and business profitably in this important sector.

“The qualities of innovation, dedication to excellence and enterprise are exemplified here today in this array of exceptional food and drink from Northern Ireland."

Share this Article

Sign up for News

 Enter Code

Latest Features

Access to finance | Funding options for successful growth
Susan Nightingale
Aug 13, 2019
Historic return of the Open Championship puts Northern Ireland on the podium
Steve Harper, Executive Director of International Business
Aug 01, 2019
Northern Ireland | Defence and Security
Laura Weir
Jun 19, 2019
Two years in and progress well on track to achieving Business Strategy targets
Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive
Jun 05, 2019