Entries sought for all-Ireland food awards

Christmas is a distant memory, the last major date on food producers’ calendars, and now its time to get ready for the next big thing.

The Irish Food Awards, the largest blind-tasted food awards in Ireland, designed to recognise and celebrate the very best Irish food and drink, is now open to producers.

“Winning a Blas na hÉireann award has made significant business differences to our winners,” says Artie Clifford, chairperson and founder of Blas na hÉireann. "Our winners are always our best ambassadors. Whether it’s the independent endorsement of a Blas win helping get a product onto the shelves of a particular retailer or onto a restaurant menu, the validation and recognition impacts on the bottom line for our winners.

"It’s the clap on the back that producers don’t often give themselves and it opens doors, creates opportunities and helps boost a strong sense of confidence in the Irish food sector. Blas is the shop window for some of Ireland’s best producers, and the celebration of this authentic community we continue to build is of huge importance to all the participants, from makers, to buyers, to organisers.”

Research has shown that the Blas accreditation has the highest recognition among Irish consumers, and having the award logo on products encourages shoppers to buy.

These are exceptionally rigorously judged awards, as Blas na hÉireann use an innovative blind-tasting judging system developed by Blas with the food science department of UCC, a system which is now recognised as an international industry standard.

“More than 10 years on, this sector is getting more competitive every year,” Ms Clifford continued. “It’s more challenging than ever for authentic small producers to cut through the clutter and be recognised. Winning a Blas award, in the words of previous winner Siobhan Lawless of Foods of Athenry, helps in 'becoming less invisible in an ocean of other products'. This is what we hope Blas does and will continue to do. We are looking forward to an epic year for Blas na hÉireann 2018.”

Entries for Blas na hÉireann 2018 received online up to April 30 will enjoy at the discounted early bird fee of €60 per entry (ex VAT ). The full entry fee, applicable from May 1 to June 15, is €75 per entry (ex VAT ).

Visit www.irishfoodawards.com for more information.


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