Blas na hÉireann gives retailers cause for celebration
Quinlan's Fish scoops the Supreme Champion Award and retailers give props to their award-winning suppliers
5 October 2015 | 0
A family-run seafood business based in Caherciveen, Co. Kerry, Quinlan’s Fish, has won the prestigious Supreme Champion Award at this year’s Blas na hÉireann, The Irish Food Awards. The company’s winning entry is its fresh crabmeat, which won over the judges’ taste-buds because of its flavour, freshness and delicate texture.
There were more than 2000 entries for this year’s awards from all over Ireland, making it the biggest competition of Irish produce on the island of Ireland. Adjudication involved over 400 independent judges over a period of three weeks, with the winners announced on Saturday night, 3 October in Dingle, Co. Kerry.
Retail groups have been keen to shout about their successful weekend at this year’s Blas na hÉireann Awards. SuperValu swept the board with a grand total of 63 awards at this year’s ceremony while Aldi scooped 22 titles.
Aldi has congratulated its winning Irish suppliers which have provided Aldi with its biggest awards haul yet. Aldi’s Irish suppliers have now won 97 Blas na hÉireann Awards since 2009.
The discounter says the results see Aldi continue its reign as Ireland’s most awarded retailer. Over the last five years Aldi says it has won more awards than any other retailer in Ireland across the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards, the Great Taste Awards and Blas na hÉireann Irish Food Awards.
Aldi’s Irish suppliers won seven gold medal, seven silver medal and eight bronze medal awards in Dingle this weekend. Gold medal winners included Aldi’s Butchers Selection Lamb Rack, produced by Irish Country Meats of Camolin, Co. Wexford, Aldi’s Mature Cheddar, produced by Carbery of Ballineen, Co. Cork and Aldi’s Specially Selected Caramelised Red Onion Relish, produced by Follain Teoranta of Macroom, Co. Cork.
Meanwhile, SuperValu said the record number of awards for its producers recognises the unrivalled quality Irish produce being produced locally and supplied to SuperValu. The SuperValu own brand range won a total of 25 awards, with 7 Gold, 6 Silver and 12 Bronze awards. Food Academy producers were crowned with 38 awards in total (15 Gold, 9 Silver and 14 Bronze), highlighting the success of Food Academy – a unique training programme run by SuperValu, Bord Bia and Local Enterprise Offices, which supports and nurtures start-up food businesses. Over 200 Food Academy producers are now selling their products in SuperValu stores across Ireland.
The SuperValu suppliers recognised for their quality, flavour, taste at this year’s Blas na hEireann awards include O’Brien Fine Foods, Dunns Seafare, Couveture Desserts, Ballymaguire Foods, Skeaghanore Duck and Raffertys Fine Foods, all of whom won Gold for their products.
Also announced as prize-winners were:
Best New Product (Sponsored by Invest NI): Wild Irish Foragers of Birr, Co. Offaly for their Honeysuckle Shrub
Best Artisan Award (Sponsored by An Bord Bia): Bainne Codhladh Ltd of Kanturk, Co. Cork for their Lullaby Milk
Best Export Opportunity Award (Sponsored by Pan Euro Foods): Hannan Meats of Moira, Co. Armagh
Best Start-Up (Sponsored by AIB): Cornude Popcorn: Cornude Artisan Popcorn is a range of yummy gourmet popcorn flavours freshly made in the Liberties in Dublin.
Best Seafood Innovation (Sponsored by Bord Iascaigh Mhara): Kinsale Fare Limited, Co. Cork for Hake in a Mild Yellow Curry
Rogha na Gaeltachta / Best Emerging Producer in Gaeltacht area: Macroom Buffalo Mozzarella, which is produced from a herd of over 150 buffaloes on a farm at Cill na Martra.
Best Packaging Innovation Award (UCC School Food Nutritional Sciences): Dingle Brewing Company, Dingle, Co. Kerry which hand crafts Tom Crean’s Irish lager.
Producers’ Champion 2015: Minister for Agriculture and Food, Simon Coveney. Following a survey of over 2,000 producers, Minister Simon Coveney was selected by the producers themselves as their Champion for 2015, in recognition of his efforts to promote Irish food producers and their products at home and abroad.