Nine Irish producers and brands were recognised at the biennial Bord Bia Food and Drink Awards, held at the RDS Dublin on Wednesday 27th November.

The awards were presented at a gala luncheon by Tara McCarthy, CEO Bord Bia, and RTÉ’s Miriam O’Callaghan. The event was attended by more than 300 industry leaders.

Three of the awards were picked up by drinks companies, including Heineken Ireland and The Shed Distillery.

ABP Food Group received the overall Sustainability Award for achieving sustainability targets ahead of schedule and for creating what judges described as a ‘sustainability culture that permeates every part of the business’.

The Shed Distillery was awarded the Brand Marketing award for demonstrating ‘a masterclass in brand development’, and Silver Hill Farm received the Export Growth award for continuing to achieve impressive growth in the ‘very competitive’ Asian market.

Two new awards this year focused on one of Bord Bia’s four strategic priorities, that of leading through People. The Future Leader award, which aims to foster entrepreneurial culture and skill in the food & drink sector, was presented to Philp Martin, CEO, Blanco Nino. The first-ever Diversity & Inclusion award was bestowed to two companies – Diageo and Dawn Meats.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., said: “As we work towards the ambitious goals set out by Food Wise 2025, the winners, and indeed the entire shortlist, have proven their commitment and ambition to driving the sector forward. I’m conscious that new business is not easily won and Irish food and drink companies are to be commended for their success in developing strong brand strategies, sustainable practices, and cultures of inclusion.”

Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia, said: “As Irelands’ largest indigenous industry, it is important to recognise the achievements and ongoing progress of the sector. We are delighted to gather to honour 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.”

Patricia Callan, Director of Drinks Ireland, which represents drinks companies in Ireland said: “Ireland’s drinks industry is at the cusp of innovation – from sustainable business and production practices, to diversity and inclusion initiatives, to world-class marketing. It’s fantastic to see this being recognised by Bord Bia and I would like to congratulate Heineken Ireland, Diageo Ireland and The Shed Distillery for their successes at the awards.”

The full list of winners is as follows:

  • Brand Marketing Award: The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney, Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim
  • Consumer Insight Award: Glenilen Farm, Drimoleague, West Cork
  • Diversity & Inclusion Award: Diageo and Dawn Meats
  • Domestic Success Award: Keelings Select, St. Margarets, County Dublin
  • Export Growth Award: Silver Hill Farms, Emyvale, Co. Monaghan
  • Future Leader Award: Philip Martin, Blanco Nino, Dublin
  • Sustainability Award: ABP Food Group, Ardee, Co. Louth
  • Sustainability Project Impact Award: Heineken Ireland, Cork City
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