The achievements of eight Irish food companies were recognised at the Bord Bia Food and Drink Awards in Dublin’s Mansion House tonight (November 12).

The awards which are held every two years, reward excellence within the Irish food and drink industry across eight key categories.

Over 300 industry representatives from Ireland’s leading food and drink companies gathered for the ceremony which was opened by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

Speaking at the event, Coveney said that Ireland is well positioned to meet the targets of Food Wise 2025 and the industry as a whole should take pride in export achievements to date.

I am delighted to be here this evening at the ‘Oscars’ of the sector as we take pride in the exceptional achievements of our food and drink companies.

“Last year’s record €10.5bn in exports follows five years of sustained growth by the sector, which is now well positioned as it seeks to expand towards its €19bn export goal set in Food Wise 2025.”

The Minister added that the food and drinks industry is also in the process of opening new markets which are vital for its future growth.

“As the industry continues to develop premium positions in established markets, significant progress is also being made in opening up new markets that can help sustain its growth.

“I am deeply conscious that business is not easily won and Irish food and drink companies are to be commended for their success and determination in developing Ireland’s largest indigenous industry,” said Coveney.

Bord Bia Food and Drink Award Winners
  • Export Award – Gallagher’s Bakery.
  • Entrepreneurial Award – Gallagher’s Bakery.
  • Innovation Award – Nobó.
  • Success at Home Award – Celtic Pure.
  • Branding Award – Glanbia’s Avonmore SuperMilk.
  • Digital Marketing Award – Britvic Ireland’s Club Orange.
  • Consumer Insight Award – Glenisk.
  • Sustainability Award – Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd and Island Seafoods Ltd 

Also speaking at the event, Bord Bia’s Chief Executive, Aidan Cotter, said that the awards highlight the talents and achievements of the food and drinks sector.

“As the industry seeks to grow output and expand its export reach, it is important to recognise the achievements and ongoing progress of the sector, which are underpinning growth and competitiveness and elevating the industry’s reputation at home and abroad.

The awards highlight the talent, imagination and sheer professionalism that is at the heart of the industry’s current success and that will secure its continued growth and expansion, he said.

Sustainability Award Boasts Competitive Edge

Due to the competitive nature of the category and the strategic importance of Origin Green, the judges deemed it appropriate to recognise the efforts of two companies, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd and Island Seafoods Ltd.

According to Bord Bia, both companies have made substantial changes to their businesses to improve sustainability.

Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd has committed to auditing its entire milk supply base to establish a baseline under a number of sustainability indicators by 2016.

Bord Bia also said that the company plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 10% by 2020, zero waste to landfill by 2015 and a 25% reduction in water abstraction by 2020.

Island Seafoods Ltd was also the winner of the Sustainability Award, and Bord Bia said the quantity and quality of sustainability undertakings surprised the judges for a company of its size.

The level of innovation driving sustainability within their business was impressive according to Bord Bia.

It also said the company is planning on reducing its overall operational electricity usage and water consumption for cooling and cleaning by 15% by 2016. In addition, there is a comprehensive plan in place in terms of food waste, renewable energy, cold store lighting and social sustainability.

Bord Bia’s Aidan Cotter added that it is encouraging to see the emphasis Irish food and drinks companies place on producing a sustainable product.

“It is encouraging to note the importance placed on sustainability by food and drink producers, with over a quarter of the total entries received for this award.

This is also evident in the fact that, over 85% of total Irish food and drink exports are now coming from companies that are fully verified members of Origin Green.

The Chief Executive of Bord Bia said that sustainability has become a key driver for the Irish food and drinks industry.

“Sustainability is an established driver for the industry in terms of how it conducts business, and Origin Green has provided a renewed sense of purpose of how we can be different and still make a difference in a challenging marketplace.