The Irish food industry needs to be prepared for Brexit, an awards ceremony honouring the best produce on offer north and south of the border heard today.
The winners of 25th Irish Food Writers‘ Guild Food Awards were revealed this lunchtime at Glovers Alley restaurant.
Three producers from Northern Ireland and five from counties including Cork, Louth and Dublin were selected for an award.
Organisers said none of the producers can enter themselves or their product into the awards and no company knows it has been nominated or shortlisted.
Seven titles in total were awarded - including a Community Food Award for Caitriona Twomey of Cork Penny Dinners in recognition of their work with those experiencing poverty.
Other honours were presented to Cork cheesemaker Dan Hegarty for Teampall Gael Cheese as well as Mike Thomson from Co Down for Young Buck Cheese.
Barry Walsh and Kate Watson of Killahora Orchards in Cork were awarded for their Rare Apple Ice Wine.
Awards were also handed out to Andrew and Leonie Workman for Dunany Organic Spelt Berries in Louth, Colin Harmon of Dublin’s 3fe Coffee and Charlie Cole of Broughgammon Farm in Co Antrim.
Peter Hannan from Down was presented with a lifetime achievement award.
Organisers said the geographical spread of the awards demonstrates “the all-island approach that, as a nation, we take to food production, supply and quality standards”.
“With the food industry gearing up for the impact of Brexit and with the threat of UK tariffs a real possibility, it is incumbent on us all, government, industry and consumers, to protect and support our abundance of incredible food producers, who have played a significant role in helping position Ireland as a food tourism destination,” Chairperson of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild, Kristin Jensen, said.