Belfast Telegraph

Foster congratulates Northern Ireland winners at Great Taste event

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has congratulated three Northern Ireland food companies on their achievements in the finals of the annual Great Taste Awards.

The Minister was speaking following the announcement of the achievements of the local companies announced at the finals in London of the awards that are often referred to as the ‘Oscars’ of the food and drink industry in the UK and Ireland. The event is organised annually by the influential UK Guild of Fine Food.

Northern Ireland companies won two of the main categories in the awards –

· En Place Foods (UK) in Cookstown gained the Ambient Product Award for a highly innovative sauce.
· Yellow Door Deli in Portadown won the first-ever Deli Signature Dish that the Guild introduced this year to encourage delis to begin developing their own dishes. The Yellow Door dish used beef from Hannan Meats in Moira, Co Down

The Northern Ireland Product of the Year, sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland, was won by Hannan Meats in Moira for its salt-aged Glenarm Shorthorn Beef.

Arlene Foster said: “Winning two major awards in this highly competitive event represents a marvellous achievement for the companies and Northern Ireland.

“The achievements of these companies, and Hannan Meats in the Northern Ireland Regional Award, are another marvellous endorsement of the outstanding quality, taste and innovation now underpinning the food sector, now our biggest manufacturing industry and a rapidly developing exporter of quality products outside Northern Ireland.

“Recognition of the quality of our food by high profile organisations such as the UK Guild of Fine Food in the annual Great Taste Awards is helping to establish Northern Ireland as a source of innovative food and meals among major international retailers and foodservice organisations. In addition, the international profile that the awards generate contributes to our tourism industry. Food tourism is becoming an immensely important element in the package of attractions that we offer visitors.

“The Northern Ireland Executive is currently working with the industry to implement the far reaching recommendations made in Going for Growth – Investing in Success, the action plan tabled by the Agri Food Strategy Board. We see immense opportunities to build on the achievements of our companies to grow exports and employment."

Notes to editors:

1. The final winners announced by the UK Guild Food carry forward the achievements of four companies gaining listing in the Top 50 Foods for nine products, a new record for Northern Ireland.

2. Four Northern Ireland foods reached the final 15 considered by the judges for the Supreme Champion Title – Hannan Meats, Moira, En Place Foods (UK), Cookstown which had two listed, and McCartney’s Butchers, Moira.

3. The four companies listed in the Top 50:

En Place Foods (UK), Cookstown, with two products – Sea Buckthorn Berry and Lime Jam and Sea Salted Caramel with Pollen Sauce;
Ewing Seafoods, Belfast – Traditionally Pale Smoked Cod Loins;
Hannan Meats, Moira –
Seasoned Fiorentina T-bone steak
Salt-aged Euro Angus T-bone steak
Salt-aged Euro Angus Cote de Boeuf
Salt-aged Glenarm Shorthorn Beef
McCartney’s Butchers, Moira – Mushroom, Leek and Smoked Garlic Tart.

4. Overall 65 companies gained 237 gold stars in this year’s Great Taste Awards, another new record for Northern Ireland. Hannan Meats also gained an exceptional 44 gold stars including seven in the top three-star category. The Great Taste Awards competition is judged by a panel of food experts and helps to highlight the originality of companies to major European retailers and foodservice organisations. The Great Taste Awards 2013 attracted around 10,000 food products from companies in the UK and Ireland. Just over 600 products were entered by Northern Ireland companies in the awards.


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