Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA has congratulated Northern Ireland food and drink companies on a record breaking year at a reception in Belfast.
84 producers secured 303 Great Taste Gold stars, 25 businesses secured 38 Irish Quality Food Awards and in the Blas Na hÉireann, Irish Food Awards, Northern Ireland companies won a total of 45 awards.
Speaking at an Invest Northern Ireland reception for award winners the Minister said: “This celebration event is an opportunity to recognise the hard work of our local food and drink producers and their outstanding achievements. The number and calibre of these awards undoubtedly consolidates Northern Ireland’s growing reputation for excellence in food and drink production.
“Food and drink here is a major player in our business and tourism growth strategies. With international retailers and food service organisations monitoring high profile competitions for new products I am confident these achievements will translate into the continued growth and success for both individual companies and the local economy.”
The Minister added: “In particular I would like to acknowledge Peter Hannan, who has secured the UK Guild of Fine Food’s Supreme Champion title for the second time. I am pleased to be able to present them tonight with the Invest Northern Ireland sponsored ‘Golden Fork for Northern Ireland’ for their Glenarm Shorthorn 4 rib roast.”
Commenting on his success, Peter Hannan, owner of the Meat Merchant, added: “We are hugely proud and privileged to bring the Great taste Supreme Championship back to Northern Ireland again, most especially during our inaugural Year of Food”.