Tuesday May 13th 2014: REPRO FREE: Mullingar food producer and Chocolatier Olivia Curran and Artie Clifford, Chairman tempt Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food Simon Coveney with her edible chocolate hat in St. Stephen’s Green Dublin on Tuesday morning prior to the launch of the annual Blas na h-Eireann / Irish Food Awards which take place in Dingle County Kerry.
A survey of Irish food producers has found that 70% of small to medium sized producers feel that a lack of financial advice and support is the biggest challenge they face in growing their businesses. The survey, conducted on behalf of the Blas na hEireann, Irish Food Awards, also found that for 65% of producers distribution is a major problem; not only nationally but also internationally.
The findings of this survey, titled Producer Power in 2014, were announced at the launch of the 7thAnnual Blas na hEireann 2014 Awards, which took place at The Westbury Hotel, Dublin, on Tuesday 13 May, where Minister Simon Coveney, a former producer himself, made the opening address.
The Blas na hEireann, Irish Food Awards accreditation is the largest competition of its kind in Ireland attracting over 2,000 entries annually. It was set up to reward and support the best of Irish produce and the passionate, talented producers behind it. Award winners get to display the Blas na hEireann symbol on their products which previous, independent research shows leads to an increase in sales. All entries are blind tasted by a team of over 350 judges in two tranches, including top chefs, journalists, industry experts, inspired home cooks and academics. The judging system was developed and is overseen each year by Dr Joe Kerry and his team from the School of Food and Nutritional Science at UCC. The Award winners in over 80 food categories will be presented at an Awards Ceremony in Dingle, Co Kerry on Saturday 4 October, to co-incide with the peninsula’s hugely popular food and wine festival. In addition Bord Bia sp