Food and drink companies from Northern Ireland have scooped a record 195 gold awards at a UK-wide competition.
Forty-six food firms impressed judges at Great Taste Awards, organised by the UK Guild of Fine Food, which attracted more than 8,800 entries from companies throughout the UK and Ireland and further afield.
In total, 2,793 food and drink products have been awarded one, two, or three-star gold, with just 123 entries winning three stars.
The annual programme culminates in next month's 'Golden Fork' Awards in London and the naming of the Great Taste Supreme Champion.
Big winners Hannan Meats of Moira also set an all-time record in the awards by winning 26 gold stars, the highest ever won by a single producer.
McCartney's Butchers, also based in Moira, picked up 14 gold stars, and Punjana, Belfast, won nine gold stars for its teabags and loose-leaf teas.
Five companies - Cloughbane Farm Shop, Pomeroy; Hannan Meats, Moira; Kettyle Irish Foods, Lisnaskea; Mc Cartney's Butchers, Moira; and Punjana Tea, Belfast - achieved the top award of three stars and will be in the running to be named as Northern Ireland Regional Champion, an award sponsored by Invest NI, and overall Supreme Champion, a title secured last year by McCartney's Butchers in Moira for its corned beef, a reworking of a traditional British favourite food.
Established in 1994, the scheme is organised by the UK Guild of Fine Food. Over 60,000 products have been evaluated in the last 13 years.
The foods were blind-tasted by top chefs, cookery writers, food critics, restaurateurs and fine food retailers.
For a full write-up about the competition, see Tuesday's Business Telegraph.
Our winning food and drink firms:
- Ann's Pantry, Larne
- Blackthorn Foods, Belfast
- Chapman's, Portadown
- Cloughbane Farm Shop, in
- Dale Farm
- Fivemiletown Creamery
- Genesis Crafty, Magherafelt
- Hannan Meats, Moira
- Kestrel Foods, Craigavon
- Kettyle Irish Foods, Lisnaskea
- McCartney's of Moira
- Punjana, Belfast
- Suki Tea, Belfast
- White's Speedicook, Tandragee
- Yellow Door, Portadown