Northern Ireland food and drink firms won a record number of gold medals at this year’s Great Taste Awards held at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair at the Olympia, London.
Receiving a gold award is viewed by the industry as being one of the highest accolades possible and is the single most sought after seal of real quality by food and drink companies.
Organised by the Guild of Fine Food Retailers the awards are regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the fine food world and both recognise and reward the exceptional standard of food and drink available across the UK.
Over 150 judges are involved in the selection process, with a limited number of gold awards issued, to ensure a high standard and recognise superior craftsmanship and dedication.
IN total nine companies from across Northern Ireland received 17 awards in categories ranging from best made pie, marmalade, cake and cheese.
Invest Northern Ireland has provided a holistic range of support ranging from R&D assistance and trade development support to each local company accredited with an award.
This forms part of its work with the Food Strategy Implementation Partnership, which is delivered in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
At the event the Offbeat Bottling Company, based in Co. Down also won the Invest NI sponsored award for the company’s Orange breakfast marmalade.
Commenting on the success of all the companies who attended, Maynard Mawhinney, Director of Food at Invest NI said:
“We continue to support local food and drink companies across Northern Ireland to help them market themselves more effectively, focus on new innovative product development and maximise their exporting potential.
“By successfully entering high profile competitions like the Great Taste Awards Northern Ireland food and drink companies will be able to take advantage of the enhanced visibility and recognition it gives them to increase their competitiveness,” he continued.