Now in our 16th year, Blas na hÉireann, The Irish Food Awards is the biggest competition for quality Irish produce on the island of Ireland. In 2022 we had a return to in person events to celebrate our finalists and winners as all roads finally led back to Dingle for the events which included the Blas Village for the first time. Located in the heart of Dingle, this pop-up village was built for producers across the country to come together and celebrate the very best of Irish food and drink for Blas’s first in-person event in three years. As well as the awards being held here, finalists and winners have had the opportunity to showcase their products, engage with customers and meet key industry buyers.
Finalists and winners showcased their produce in a new tented market — each tent highlighting a province in Ireland — also a new addition to the festival. Suitably named Eat Ireland in a Day, visitors were able to enjoy the high calibre quality of food & drinks that reached the finalist stage.
Speaking after the awards Artie Clifford, Chairperson and founder of Blas na hÉireann said, “After a three-year hiatus from an in-person event, having a three-day event with the addition of the Blas Village and Eat Ireland in a Day has been worth the wait. I am really proud of what we hosted online but one thing that was repeated over and over was that people missed being in Dingle. As well as the excitement of the awards, it has been an intense and fantastic few days of focused networking, catch-ups and creating new connections and I am delighted that we have been able to showcase this exceptional produce to both regular visitors and industry experts in such an approachable and enjoyable way. What a great few days to welcome our Blas family back to Dingle.”
In 2022 entries reached almost 3000 products and many new producers entering the awards for the first time. Products from every county in Ireland were entered to win bronze, silver or gold awards in over 150 food and drink categories, as well as key awards like Supreme Champion and Best Artisan Producer.
“Making it as a finalist is a huge achievement and one to be very proud of,” says Artie Clifford, Chairperson and founder of Blas na hÉireann. “The competition ramps up year on year, meaning those producers who are short-listed as finalists really are the crème de la crème of Irish food and drink. This year it was not just the excellent food and drink that has been celebrated but the people themselves, our passionate and resilient producers. It has been quite a homecoming for our Blas family and we are looking forward already to doing it all over again next year.”
Key dates for 2023
17th March – Open for entries
5th April – Earlybird deadline
17th May – Deadline to enter www.irishfoodawards.com
June/July/August – Judging – full dates to be confirmed
29th Sept – Awards are announced
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The Blas awards are the biggest blind tasting of produce in the country, and the criteria on which the product is judged as well as the judging system itself, which was developed by Blas na hÉireann with the Food Science Dept of UCC, is now recognised as an international industry standard.
Research has shown that the Blas accreditation has the highest recognition amongst Irish consumers and using the award logo on packs encourages shoppers to buy these products. It is their guarantee of a top quality Irish product.
Blas na hÉreann was founded so that quality benchmarks could be established for Irish produce on a level playing field. Winning at Blas has made a significant business difference to our winners.
Read their testimonials, they are our best ambassadors.