Blas na hEireann Awards aims to ‘maximise producers’ chances of getting listed’
Annual showcase and networking event expanded to include workshops as well as a 'Buyers Only Preview'
13 September 2016 | 0
Finalists at this year’s Blas na hEireann, The Irish Food Awards, will have unique opportunities to meet key buyers from Ireland, the UK and overseas.
The annual showcase and networking event which takes place in conjunction with the awards ceremony has been recognised as a critical date in the food industry’s calendar. This year, it has been developed further to include workshops on the Friday 30 September which are exclusively available to finalist producers.
They include ‘What Chefs Want’ hosted by Blas’ inaugural ‘producer’s champion’, Neven Maguire. Neven will be joined by a number of chefs who will be discussing what the very best of Irish food and drinks means to them and what they are looking for when sourcing for their menus.
There will also be a Masterclass in Branding and Packaging by Greenhouse Creative, one of Ireland’s largest food branding agencies. That evening, ‘What Buyers Want’ will have a number of buyers discussing what is important to them when they are looking for something new for their shelves.
The following day when the awards are announced, there will be a ‘Buyers Only Preview’ in the marquee. Buyers will be provided with a listing of finalist products and producers and will have an opportunity to view the finalists before the networking events begin.
“The Blas na hEireann Awards is a fantastic showcase of some of the best products in the island of Ireland,” said Harrods buyer Ann Dunne who is also a judge. “Since getting involved, I’ve been amazed at the exceptional quality, innovative products and inspirational flavours that have been coming through,” she added. This year, Dunne said she will be particularly looking for products in both the health and indulgence sectors.
Chairperson of The Irish Food Awards, Artie Clifford, commented on the initiative’s ultimate goal, stating: “It is all about maximising producers’ chances of getting their products listed. The setting is informal, but this is serious business.” The overall Supreme Champion, supported by Bord Bia, will be announced on Saturday, 1 October.
For more information, visit www.irishfoodawards.com