Nine firms honoured at food industry’s Oscars

Niall Browne, CEO, and Charlie Coakley, environmental sustainability manager, Dawn Meats, winner of the Sustainability Award.

The record €9bn exports achieved by food and drink companies in 2012 is likely to be surpassed this year, and the €12bn target in Food Harvest 2020 is in sight, Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Simon Coveney revealed last night.

He was speaking at the presentation of the Bord Bia Food and Drink Awards to nine companies at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin.

The awards, held every two years, are designed to reward excellence within the Irish food and drink industry across seven categories — exporting, branding, entrepreneurial, success at home, sustainability, consumer insight and innovation.

Mr Coveney said the “Oscars” of the sector celebrate exceptional resilience and performance. He said the companies recognised could take pride in their achievements in growth, new business and even deeper insight into buyer needs and consumer trends.

Bord Bia chairman Michael Carey said this year’s awards coincide with the fourth successive year of sustained growth in food and drink exports.

“As the industry continues to develop and expand into new and emerging markets, it is important to recognise the continued progress and achievements of the sector,” he said.

Category award winners were Glenmar Shellfish, Union Hall, Co Cork; (Export); Paganini for FitFuel, Wexford (Innovation), Britvic Ireland for MiWadi (Success at Home); Dawn Meats, (Sustainability); Keelings (Branding); Irish Atlantic Salt, West Cork (Entrepreneurial); Kerry Foods for Cheestrings (Consumer Insight).

Special awards were presented to James Whelan Butchers, Clonmel, Co Tipperary (Online) and beef exporters ABP Ireland (Business Referral).

Bord Bia chief executive Aidan Cotter described the winners’ achievements as a fitting showcase of an industry on the rise, and positioning food and drink firmly at the centre of economic recovery: “It is this talent, imagination and sheer professionalism that is at the heart of the industry’s current success and that will secure its continued growth and expansion.”


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