Offaly businesses to the fore at National Organic Awards

Shane McEntee, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for Food, Horticulture & Food Safety recently announced the winners of the National Organic Awards 2012 at an awards ceremony in Bord Bia.

Shane McEntee, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for Food, Horticulture & Food Safety recently announced the winners of the National Organic Awards 2012 at an awards ceremony in Bord Bia.

Organic No Added Sugar Vanilla Kids Yogurt from Glenisk, Killeigh, was announced the winner in the Best Organic Dairy Category, and Clanwood Farm’s Organic Gluten Free beef burgers were Highly Commended in the Best Organic Meat category.

This year was the sixth year of the National Organic Awards, which take place during National Organic Week each year. Organised by Bord Bia, over 100 entries were received and awards were given in eight different categories.

Minister Shane McEntee, TD, said “It is a pleasure to be here today to present these awards to some of Ireland’s foremost food companies who are leading the way in organic food production. Today’s awards honour a range of both new and veteran Irish organic food companies with an exciting range of products representing all of the main food groups. I would like to wish all of the companies continued success in bringing high quality, innovative products to market”.

Commenting on the Best Organic Dairy category, Tara McCarthy, Director Food & Beverage Division, Bord Bia said, “The judges were delighted to see innovation in the dairy category with this new no added sugar product for kids. They were well deserved winners in this category”

The independent judging panel for the 2012 National Organic Awards was chaired by Dr. Oliver Moore, Journalist, Researcher and Organic Blogger and included Darren Grant, Proprietor, The Organic Supermarket Blackrock, Co Dublin, Miah Buckley, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland, Evan Doyle, Proprietor, Brooklodge Wells & Spa, Suzanne Campbell, Researcher and Journalist and Mark Caviston, Retailer.

Chair of the Judging panel Dr. Oliver Moore said “There was a real emphasis on honest, very good quality, affordable foods - foods for everyone and for everyday. Iconic yet simple Irish staples like porridge, potatoes and pork shone alongside the vitality of vegetables, from curly kale to rainbow cherry tomatoes. Organic meat and dairy too are flourishing, with world leading innovative companies and small new regional endeavours flying the flag. What also heartened the judges was how some companies were clearly listening to feedback and improving their packaging as well as their product ranges, year on year”.

National Organic Week 2012, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine continues until Sunday 16th September. The weeklong celebration promotes Ireland’s organic sector with organic producers, retailers and farmers markets nationwide hosting events including organic farm walks, cookery demonstrations, BBQs, harvest feasts, complimentary in store tastings and talks.

There are currently 1,692 registered organic operators in Ireland with 52,390 hectares of land being used to produce organic foods which include meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables, eggs, grains, cereals, nuts, seeds, dairy products, drinks and cooking oils.

For more information on National Organic Week and the National Organic Awards visit www.bordbia.ie<http://www.bordbia.ie>