Pictured L-R: ICA President Marie O’Toole, NPA MD Anna May McHugh, 2016 winner Phylis MGauran, Holly Carpenter and Competition Judge Eileen Brennan
An Offaly woman is set to compete against bakers from all over the country in a bid to be crowned Best Brown Baker in Ireland at this year's Ploughing Championships.
Anne Downey from Birr was the winner of the Offaly heat and will now do battle with 26 other competitors to book her place in the final in Screggan, Tullamore in September.
The National Brown Bread Baking competition is run in-conjunction with Aldi and the ICA and has once again sparked great interest throughout the country as hundreds of bakers from every county in Ireland have entered.
The twenty seven individual county winners have now qualified for the Regional Final in An Grianán in Termonfeckin, Co. Louth on August 24, where the top 8 winners will be selected to go to the Ploughing Championships for the semi-finals and final in the Aldi Marquee.
This year’s prize pot is very generous, with the winner receiving at least €10,000 in profits whilst also having the prestige of selling their bread in Aldi stores nationwide. Second place will receive €1,000, with €500 for third, €300 for fourth, while the other semi-finalists will all get €200 each.
NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said: “We are delighted to be renewing our partnership with Aldi and the ICA given the popularity and success of the Brown Bread Baking competition at Ploughing. The total attendance figures for the 2016 Ploughing Championships came to a record breaking 283,000 and this year’s Championships look set to be bigger and better than ever.”
“The Championships not only provides a national stage for showcasing all things agricultural, but also brings together people from all sectors of Irish society both rural and urban, to enjoy three days immersed in country living," she concluded.
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