Shortlist for the 2018 National Organic Food Awards revealed

The 20 entries shortlisted for the 2018 National Organic Food Awards have recently been revealed by Bord Bia.

The Irish food board claims that the shortlist represents the growing number of organic food and drink products available through an increasing number of consumer channels – including food service, retail, direct sales and export.

Hosted every second year by Bord Bia in association with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the National Organic Food Awards aim to recognise developments in the sector across key categories as judged by a panel of experts.

A new award in 2018 highlights the sustainability achievements and contributions of organic producers to their local communities.

Speaking about this year’s awards, senior manager for food and beverages at Bord Bia, Karen Tyner, said: “The Irish organic market is currently valued at over €200 million and the global export market is set to jump in value to €224 billion by 2022.

These awards recognise producers and manufacturers whose products differentiate themselves in the marketplace to meet this growing consumer demand, both at home and internationally.

The shortlisted entries were selected from the following six categories: Chef’s Award; Retail Award; Direct Selling Award; Export Award; Best New and Innovative Product Award; and the newly-added Business in the Community Award.

Among the key judging criteria for this year’s awards were: taste and quality; market opportunity; value for money; packaging and branding; versatility; and ability to overcome market challenges.

Commenting on the standard of entries for the 2018 awards, judge Frank Bardet – who is the sourcing director for Biocoop France – said: “It was a real pleasure for me to see the wide range of products available in Ireland in the organic sector.

“I would commend those entrants who have made sustainable packaging part of their offering, as I firmly believe that organic producers can lead the way in this aspect.

As ever, the quality of the dairy and meat products in Ireland particularly impress me.

The awards ceremony will take place next Wednesday, October 10, and award winners will receive a tailored support package from Bord Bia to assist in growing their businesses.

A list of the entries nominated for the awards is available on Bord Bia’s website.