Bord Bia awards ceremony sees dairy ‘industry champion’ scoop prestigious prize

Three agricultural companies that are familiar names to farmers won big at today’s Bord Bia Food and Drink Industry Awards in the RDS, Dublin. At the ceremony, Bord Bia also presented the inaugural ‘Industry Champion’ Award to Denis O’Riordan of Kerry Foods in recognition of his “outstanding contribution to delivering global success for the Cheestrings brand”.

More than 300 Irish food and drink industry leaders gathered for the awards ceremony which honoured the “most progressive and ambitious businesses in Ireland’s thriving food and drink industry”, according to Bord Bia.

The award winners, encompassing some of Ireland’s best-known brands, family businesses and export successes, included companies that farmers are well acquainted with such as Dawn Meats, Kerry Foods and Monaghan Mushrooms.

Dawn Meats received the ‘Sustainability Award’ for the development of a sustainability strategy in conjunction with key stakeholders including farmers and customers.

Monaghan Mushrooms received the ‘Sustainability, Project Impact Award’ for successfully demonstrating that the business is at the technical and environmental forefront of the mushroom business.

The results of their sustainability efforts has led them to develop a vitamin D enriched mushroom which benefits both the customer and environment simultaneously.

Finally, Kerry Foods won an ‘Export Award’ for its distribution and promotional strategies to support the export and growth of the Cheestrings brand which is now available to more than 350 million consumers across 10 European markets. The success of this strategy is widely recognised and Cheestrings now has a brand value of more than €100 million per annum.

The awards were presented by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed who said: “Bord Bia’s Food and Drink Awards provide us with an opportunity to acknowledge the trailblazers in the Irish food and drink industry who have proven their commitment and ambition to drive the sector forward.

“These companies have demonstrated excellence and innovation in their use of marketing principles and consumer insight and provide an example of best practice which new and emerging businesses can aspire to.

I would like to congratulate and applaud all nine companies for their vision and determination to succeed which is helping us to develop the positive reputation for Irish food and drink on the global market.

Bord Bia this year introduced the new ‘Industry Champion’ Award in order to recognise the contribution of a committed individual, who has worked to develop the food and drink industry in Ireland at an international level.

Announcing the award winners, Tara McCarthy, CEO, Bord Bia said: “Denis O’Riordan, known as ‘Mr. Cheestrings’ among his colleagues in Kerry Foods, is one of the pioneers of best practice marketing in Ireland.

“He is recognised as being the leading force behind the international success of Cheestrings, which is now available to some 350 million people across Europe.”