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Published on : Thursday, October 6, 2016
Five food companies have been chosen to compete in the final of a ‘Flavour of the North’ competition which will be held in Belfast on 11 October. Each of the finalists in the Henderson Foodservice initiative was selected by a highly respected team of judges following a deliberation day held at Loughry College, Cookstown where a total of 12 companies exhibited their wares.
Judging the competition were some of the most respected names in Northern Ireland’s food and drink industry including chef Danny Millar, hotelier Howard Hastings, retailer Gail Boyd, restaurateur and chef Tony Neill, Chairman of the Mount Charles Group, Trevor Annon and Damien Barret, Managing Director of Henderson Foodservice. Taking advantage of the judges’ experience, competitors were given first-hand advice and guidance from the panel’s wealth of knowledge of the food and drink industry.
While taste was of paramount importance, judges were also looking for excellence in innovation, examining growth potential and critiquing the uniqueness of the product. The five shortlisted companies are: Corndale Farm – Limavady Chorizo; Lough Neagh Eels; Pop Notch Popcorn; Donnybrewer Butter; Cavanagh Eggs.
Wishing the companies well, Damien Barrett, Managing Director at Henderson Foodservice, said, “Each of these five products captured the attention of our judges who were blown away by the incredible taste and standards of all the entries to the Flavour of the North competition. To pick just five to go forward to the final was an enormously difficult task and each of those shortlisted should feel incredibly proud of their success.
“We launched the Flavour of the North Competition to help us communicate our support for local produce. We believe strongly that Northern Ireland food and drink is among the best in the world and it deserves to be championed in restaurants, hotels and stores throughout the country.”
On top of being awarded the ‘Flavour of the North’ title, the overall winner will walk away with a comprehensive prize package comprising significant media exposure, a product listing with Henderson Foodservice giving them direct access to 4,500 customers across Ireland, features in monthly promotional brochures, marketing and commercial support plus the opportunity to have the product featured on the menus of members of the judging panel where appropriate.
The initiative has also received significant backing from Food NI who welcomed the scheme as part of the much celebrated Year of Food and Drink 2016. Michele Shirlow, Head of Food NI said, “Northern Ireland has one of the most celebrated food and drink industries in these parts, but in order to for us to continue to grow, we need to continue to support local food producers in bringing new and exciting products to the market.
“That’s why we have been so pleased to support Henderson Foodservice’s Flavour of the North competition and I want to congratulate each of the five shortlisted companies and wish them luck ahead of the grand final next month.”
Source:- Tourism Northern Ireland