The National Brown Bread Baking competition in conjunction with Aldi and the ICA has once again sparked great interest throughout the country as hundreds of bakers from every county have entered breads of a seriously high quality, all wanting to be named as Ireland’s ‘Best Brown Bread Baker’ at this year’s Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly.
The 27 individual county winners have now qualified for the regional final at An Grianán on August 24, where the top eight winners will be selected to go to the Ploughing Championships for the semi-finals and final in the Aldi Marquee.
This year’s prize pot is very generous, with the winner receiving at least €10,000 in profits whilst also having the prestige of selling their bread in Aldi stores nationwide. Second place will receive €1,000, €500 for third, €300 for fourth and the other semi-finalists will all get €200 each.
NPA managing director Anna May McHugh said: “We are delighted to be renewing our partnership with Aldi and the ICA given the popularity and success of the Brown Bread Baking competition at Ploughing. The total attendance figures for the 2016 Ploughing Championships came to a record breaking 283,000 and this year’s Championships look set to be bigger and better than ever.”
Ms McHugh added: “The Championships not only provide a national stage for showcasing all things agricultural, but also brings together people from all sectors of Irish society to enjoy three days immersed in country living.”
Munster contenders who have qualified for the regional final are Mary Kennedy (Clare), Maura Sheehan (Cork, Boherbue Guild), Colette Dalton (Kerry), Breda Creghan (Limerick, Castleconnell Guild), Joan Byrne (Tipperary, Clonakenny Guild), Jacinta Sweeney (Tipperary, Rathkeevin Guild) and Cait Keating (Waterford, Old Parish Guild).