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Northern Ireland marshmallow firm takes top accolade at Dublin awards

By Rachel Martin

Diarmuid Murphy of Simply Better, Camran Crafts’ Tracie McFerran and Wendy Campbell with Rachel Allen
Diarmuid Murphy of Simply Better, Camran Crafts’ Tracie McFerran and Wendy Campbell with Rachel Allen

Northern Ireland food producers have picked up several awards during a major all-Ireland event in Dublin.

Food and drink producers from across the island were honoured in the fourth Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards at a ceremony hosted by Ballymaloe celebrity chef and cookery author Rachel Allen, at Dublin's Mansion House.

The awards set out to recognise excellence in food and drink product development from a wide variety of companies throughout Ireland.

And it was a good night for the Northern Ireland food firms, with one of the night's biggest honours falling on Camran Crafts, which was named Small Producer of the Year.

The company, which is based in Ballycarry, produces a specialised range of marshmallows.

Originally made for their children who have been diagnosed with autism, Tracie McFerran and Wendy Campbell developed the range so it would have the taste of a treat without additives and E numbers.

The marshmallows proved so popular, they developed additional ranges for adults which includes the winning Carmen Crafts Orange, Mango and Gin Marshmallow.

The IQFA judges praised the range of products on offer and said: "These have excellent flavour and are very well made - a superb product."

Speaking about the favour, another said: "The aroma is divine, the taste of mango and orange is coming through…the mallow is not overly sweet, which is a good thing."

Among those picking up awards were Glens of Antrim Potatoes, Tempted Elderflower Cider, Farmageddon Golden Ale, Salted Caramel Popcorn by Pop Notch, Fed & Watered and Mash Direct.

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