Belfast Telegraph

Cider rivals Mac Ivors and Tempted? harvest joint all-Ireland award

By Rachel Martin

It's harvest time - and Northern Ireland cider rivals Mac Ivors and Tempted? have reaped the rewards at the Irish Food Awards, with the pair jointly taking the gong for best artisan product.

Tempted? is based in Lisburn, while Mac Ivors is owned by the MacNeice family in the Orchard county of Armagh itself.

Greg MacNeice, a fifth generation grower, was enjoying the fruits of harvest before the cider-making process begins.

The companies' success was the first time in the awards' history that the accolade has been shared and made it way to Northern Ireland. Blas na hEireann is an all-Ireland food produce competition, with more than 2,500 entries.

It comes as farmers across Northern Ireland - including apple grower Dermot Morgan and Mash Direct boss Martin Hamilton - say fortunes are lifting with a better than expected harvest. The industry had a tough year in 2015, with supermarkets harshly criticised for offering farmers unfair prices for produce.

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