Bal­moral Show spon­sor launches awards

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Food And Drink - BY RACHEL MARTIN

BAL­MORAL Show spon­sor Hen­der­son Group has launched its 2017 Lo­cal Sup­plier Awards.

Now in their fifth year, the awards give North­ern Ire­land sup­pli­ers a plat­form to show­case their prod­ucts and will take place dur­ing a spe­cial break­fast cer­e­mony at this year’s show.

Sup­pli­ers are in­vited to en­ter across five cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing ‘En­joy Lo­cal Sup­plier of the Year’, ‘Best Di­rect to Store Sup­plier’ and ‘Brand In­no­va­tion Award’.

This year’s panel of judges in­cludes Joy Alexan­der, head of food tech­nol­ogy at CAFRE; Sam But­ler, food and drink colum­nist; David El­liott, ed­i­tor of Ul­ster Busi­ness mag­a­zine, and Freda Mag­ill, UFU ru­ral af­fairs com­mit­tee chair­per­son.

Last year, Wil­low­brook Foods was named the over­all sup­plier of the year. The Co Down firm sup­plies a wide-range of prod­ucts in­clud­ing mashed potato and potato, leek and ba­con gratin for the En­joy Lo­cal range, as well as the Green Veg­etable Med­ley for The Kitchen range sold through­out Spar and Eurospar stores. Since 2016, the to­tal num­ber of North­ern Ire­land farm­ers, grow­ers and food pro­duc­ers sup­ply­ing the Spar and Eurospar’s network has in­creased to more than 20, pro­vid­ing pro­duce for Spar’s 168 En­joy Lo­cal lines.

Hen­der­son fresh foods di­rec­tor Neal Kelly said: “We pri­mar­ily source from lo­cal grow­ers and only look to fur­ther fields if ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary. We are so for­tu­nate in North­ern Ire­land to have an abun­dance of ex­cel­lent sup­pli­ers, from pri­mary pro­duc­ers right through to smaller, ar­ti­san com­pa­nies who are break­ing into the mar­ket and these awards al­low us to stop and ap­plaud the bril­liant work that they do.”

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