NI food firms applauded as they rack up success at two major food and drink awards

Northern Ireland food and drink companies had significant successes at this year’s Blas Na hÉireann Irish Food and Drink Awards and The Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Awards.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 1:00 pm

The companies won 70 awards at the Blas Na hÉireann virtual award ceremony at the weekend which includes 30 gold award winners, and follows last week’s Great Taste Awards success where NI producers won 215 awards.

John Hood, Invest NI’s director of Food & Drink, said: “NI food and drink success across this year’s awards demonstrates the outstanding commitment of local companies to innovate and produce delicious food and drink, especially during what has been a difficult 18 months for the industry.

“Northern Ireland produce is much sought after in highly competitive markets from Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland to China, Australia and the UAE. Our global network of offices, in-market support and Research & Development support is helping companies capitalise on this interest and achieve further growth in international markets.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

John Hood, Invest NI’s director of Food & Drink

“I would like to congratulate all of those who have been recognised by the Guild of Fine Food and Blas Na hÉireann, both immensely important stamps of excellence.”

Amongst this year’s Great Taste Awards three star winners were Moira-based Hannan Meats for its Sugar Pit Bacon Rack, Caramelized Hazelnut Ice Cream from Portstewart-based Morelli’s Ice Cream, Lisburn’s Pure Roast Coffee Valentia coffee beans from Brazil and Kilkeel-based Crawford Rock Seaweed Co for their Seaweed Salt.

At Blas na h’Éireann, Northern Ireland food and drink producers took 30 Golds, with Holmes Bakery in Portadown taking the prestigious ‘Best in Ulster & Shane McArdle Shield’ award for its Holmes Butter Shortbread. Whilst En Place Foods in Cookstown picked up one of the coveted Chef’s Larder awards for its Melilot Sweet Clover Vinegar.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Thank you