The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Shane McEntee, T.D., presented the National Organic Awards at a ceremony hosted by Bord Bia in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
This year there were 160 entries received from 49 companies, an increase in company participation over last year.
The Minister said “The awards have now become recognised as being an important and permanent feature of the organic food and drink industry in this country. The objective of these awards is to recognise the achievements and raise the profile of Irish organic food and drink manufacturers”. The Minister also took the opportunity to congratulate Bord Bia on the work that they are currently doing within the organic sector, and have now been doing for several years, to help develop it into the future. As well as being involved in these Awards, they are also the main organisers of National Organic Week of which this is just one of many events.
He highlighted “National Organic Week is now an important annual event, and continues to raise awareness among consumers about what organic food and farming is all about and where they can source organic produce. There is, I believe, a bright future for the Irish organic sector – if we grasp the opportunities. Consumers buy organic food because they see it as healthier and more wholesome. But they are also looking for value for money and for quality. The word organic on the label is no longer enough to guarantee success in an increasingly competitive market. That is why it is so important for the Irish food industry to do what the companies who submitted entries for these Awards are doing – developing quality added-value products using Irish ingredients.” Details of the individual award winners are available on the Bord Bia website.