2020 Blas na hÉireann finalists announced

More than 300 of the island’s finest agri-food and drink producers have this week made it on to the prestigious Blas na hÉireann shortlist.

Celebrating the very best in Irish food and drink, the awards will this year run as a digital event.

Those shortlisted include Bewley’s Tea & Coffee, Glanbia, Higgins Butchers, Ina’s Kitchen, Keogh’s Farm, Kepak Group, Olly’s Farm, Pearse Lyons Distillery, Taylor’s of Lusk and Tendermeats Ltd.

Chairperson Artie Clifford said: “Now, more than ever, it is essential to shine a spotlight and give that all-important clap on the back to the talented producers dotted around the island.”

2020 judging process

The competition has had to overcome several challenges this year. With Covid-19 restrictions still in place, judging had to relocate to Dingle in July.

After the initial first round of judging, the top-scoring products went through a second round of tasting, both in Dingle and at satellite venues across the country.

In conjunction with University College Cork (UCC), these results were studied and the findings showed that the results based on two entirely separate panels returned the exact same rankings.

In a change from normal proceedings, these results will be used to determine the winners of Blas na hÉireann 2020 as the difficult decision has been made to cancel the weekend of events in Dingle in October.

The annual gathering that takes place each year is an important part of the Blas experience and the team are working hard to move as many events to a virtual format as is possible.

The awards will be announced over the course of the day on October 3.