Entries open for Irish Food Awards

Entries are now open to producers across the island of Ireland for this year’s Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards. The Awards, which are now in their 9th year, take place at the Dingle Food Festival in October. Last year, there were more than 2500 entries in what are the largest blind-tasted Food Awards on the island.
The number of entries from Northern Ireland has risen by 40 per cent in recent years. Previous winners and finalists include Glastry Farm Ice-Cream, Tamnagh Foods, Tempted? Cider, Harnett’s Oils, Linden Foods and Moy Park.

“We have a very strong representation from Northern Ireland producers. Each year, there are more and more entrants. We are hoping for an even greater number in this Year of Food and Drink 2016” says the Chairperson of the Irish Food Awards, Artie Clifford.

“These are what I call the People’s Awards. Our judging system is very rigorous. Each table has representatives from the industry as well as people who do their weekly shop in supermarkets. Every product that carries a Finalist, Gold, Silver or Bronze sticker is picked up more quickly than those without. Our research backs that up.

“These awards are a real benchmark of quality. Winning producers from Northern Ireland have definitely seen financial benefits from entering them. Buyers see them as one of the most important events of the year. They congregate in Dingle for the Awards and they peruse the Buyers Directory for new suppliers.”
Director of Food and Tourism at Invest NI, John Hood said: “Northern Ireland companies have a tremendous track record in the creation of products that combine outstanding taste and innovation. Companies entering the Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards recognise that success can lead directly to business with major retailers outside Northern Ireland, who watch such high profile competitions for new products and different taste experiences on behalf of their customers.

“2016 is an exciting year for Northern Ireland food and drink and Invest NI will be playing our part over the coming months in helping local businesses to maximise commercial opportunities and compete more successfully and profitably.”

Pictured at the headquarters of Invest Northern Ireland for the launch of entries are Artie Clifford, Chairperson of the Irish Food Awards and John Hood, Director of Food and Tourism at Invest NI.
Entries are open from until June 17th. To enter go to