Best of Irish celebrated at Bord Bia National Organic Awards 2018
The Bord Bia National Organic Awards 2018 took place this week, with Wexford-based Irish Country Meats named overall winner alongside a range of Irish companies honoured for their innovations in a variety of areas.
16 October 2018
Wexford-based Irish Country Meats was winner of the overall award at this year’s Bord Bia National Organic Awards 2018.
The National Organic Awards are run every second year by Bord Bia in association with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. At this year’s event, awards were presented in categories including foodservice, retail, direct sales, innovation and export and a new category to the competition this year – The Business in the Community Award.
Wexford-based Irish Country Meats’ Overall Award was accepted on behalf of the company by managing director Joe Hyland. “We take great pride in being the leading innovators and organic ambassadors in the lamb space in Europe,” he said, “but to be recognised in the home market in this way means a lot to us.” Irish Country Meats also won the Retail Award for its Good Herdsmen Organic Half Leg of Lamb. “The product was developed and marketed to meet with a new dynamic opportunity driven by consumer demand for an organic option,” said Hyland.
Highbank Organic Orchards and Distillery, from Cuffesgrange, Kilkenny, picked up the Direct Selling Award for its fortified apple wine, Sack No. 3 Pommeau vintage 2016. The husband and wife team, Rod and Julie Calder-Potts, have been developing a range of products that add value to their apples, exploiting their exceptional properties of taste and flavour, which they call “Pip to Sip.”
Riversfield Organic Farm, in Callen, Co. Kilkenny, were winners of the Chef’s Choice Award for its cherry tomatoes. Owner, Vincent Grace said the farm is very proud of its tomatoes, whose versatility has them served in local cafes as well as Michelin-starred restaurants.
A partnership between The Little Milk Co. based in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford and a company producing Ireland’s best-loved farmhouse cheese, Cashel Blue based in Tipperary, led to success in the Export Award at the National Organic Awards. Since they joined forces the company has been successfully selling the new organic Cashel Blue to the best retailers and hoteliers all over the world.
Beechlawn Organic Farm Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, picked up the award for the best New and Innovative Product by identifying a growing consumer need for biodegradable packaging and introduced the biobag, a fully biodegradable solution, to package their organic curly kale product.
Slí Eile Housing Community Organic Farm, Mallow, Co. Cork was the winner of the new Business in the Community Award. Through its work, it helps the people who work the farm recover and rebuild their lives after experiencing mental health challenges.
Tara McCarthy, CEO Board Bia, said it is an exciting time to see a broad variety of producers and products represented at this year’s Awards. “It demonstrates why Irish consumers are increasingly choosing to include organic in their weekly shop,” McCarthy said. “Bord Bia is committed to supporting Irish organic producers to reach their potential and strengthen their trade both at home, and in key export markets.”
This year’s judging panel included Evan Doyle (The BrookLodge Hotel); Franck Bardet (Biocoop France); Dr. Oliver Moore (Journalist) and Gillian Nelis, (The Sunday Business Post).To mark the announcements, a special event was held at Bord Bia’s HQ in Dublin city centre, attended by 70 individuals from the industry.