Genesis Crafty wins big at Balmoral Show awards
Co Londonderry bakery Genesis Crafty has been named this year's Overall Local Supplier of the Year at Henderson Wholesale's awards breakfast at the Balmoral Show.
The competition saw a record number of entries this year.
Genesis Crafty also took home the 'Tomorrow Matters' award, rewarding its sustainability practices.
The firm is run by the six McErlain brothers in Magherafelt.
It supplies a range of cakes, pancakes, scones and a variety of breads to Henderson Wholesale, and more than 400 Spar, Eurospar and Vivo branded stores in Northern Ireland.
Armagh ready meal firm Daily Bake won the award for Own Brand Supplier of the Year, Newry sandwich maker Around Noon took home the award for best Direct to Store Supplier, and Moy Park was also recognised for brand innovation.
Highly commended awards were taken home by Co Antrim butchers K&G McAtamney for Own Brand Supplier of the Year, Irwin's Bakery in the Tomorrow Matters and Best Direct to Store Supplier categories, Hovis for Brand Innovation, and onion firm Milgro for Local Supplier of the Year.
Neal Kelly, fresh foods director at Henderson Wholesale, said: "This is the fifth year of the Local Supplier Awards, and the most successful to date.
"We received a record number of over 40 entries from 29 of the local producers, farmers and growers who supply to the company and our stores in Northern Ireland.
"We have seen some truly innovative and sustainable practices from our suppliers in the past year, which helps us to continually grow our fresh food offering in store for daily shoppers.
"The 'enjoy local' range is expanding and reached sales of over £25.5m last year, and we wouldn't be able to stock such a high-quality range without these suppliers.
"We're delighted to reward them at the annual breakfast here at the Balmoral Show. I send my heartfelt congratulations to all winners, highly commended and shortlisted, and thanks to our independent panel of judges."
The winners were picked by Ulster Business editor David Elliott, Ulster Farmers Union rural affairs committee chairwoman Freda Magill, Joy Alexander, head of food technology development at CAFRE, and Sam Butler, chairman of the Irish Guild of Agricultural Journalists.
Paddy Doody, sales and marketing director at the Henderson Group, added: "The Balmoral Show is so important to us as a company as it gives us a chance to directly engage with our shoppers, potential shoppers and the cream of the crop of our local agri-food industry. The fifth annual Local Supplier Awards have been an enormous success and they solidify our commitment to the food and agri-industries here in Northern Ireland."