Business

Award-winning food producers recognised with celebratory lunch

Lord Mayor Gareth Wilson pictured with Susie Hamilton Stubber and Bob McDonald from Burren Balsamics, Richhill, who picked up four Great Taste Awards and three Irish Food Awards this year

THIS year's award-winning food and drink producers from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough have been recognised for their success and outstanding produce with a celebratory lunch.

2017 has been a bumper year for the region, with 23 food and drink producers scooping 44 prestigious Great Taste and Irish Food Awards.

Celebrating the success of the winners, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Gareth Wilson said:

“It fills me with great pride to welcome and extend congratulations to so many award-winning producers here today. Your ambition, drive and commitment for new product development and emphasis on quality, along with award-winning form, cements our reputation as the true Food Heartland of Northern Ireland.”

The agri-food sector is a significant priority for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and by working alongside local food and drink companies, it brought about the creation of the Food Heartland Forum and Food Heartland brand. Since its creation two years ago, the multi-faceted initiative has flourished seeing a total of 55 producers winning 116 Great Taste and Irish Food Awards. In addition to this, scores of other producers have been winning awards at other prestigious competitions including the World Bread Awards and Irish Quality Food Awards.

In addition, the council led initiative has also received industry recognition, as the Food Heartland Forum, which was developed in partnership with local producers and key industry ambassadors to promote, support and cultivate the thriving sector in the area, not only picked up the Best Food Story, Roots to Market and Highly Commended Destination Delicious at the Northern Ireland Food and Drinks Awards, but also won the Best Enterprise Initiative by a council at the Northern Ireland Local Government (NILGA) Awards.

To learn more about the Food Heartland please visit: www.foodheartland.com

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