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SuperValu today launches the Irish Food Producers Awards 2010 in association with the Irish Times and Enterprise Ireland. The Irish Food Producer Awards has been created to recognise excellence, quality and innovation within the food and beverage sector in Ireland. The overall winner will be awarded the title of the SuperValu Irish Food Producer of the Year, which recognises one supplier above all others who clearly demonstrates excellence in all aspects of their business.

Commenting on the awards, Donal Horgan, Managing Director SuperValu, said, “SuperValu is proud to be associated with the Irish Times and Enterprise Ireland in recognising the best producers in Ireland. As a business we listen to what the Irish consumer wants and given the choice, we know people want to buy Irish. We are proud to work with Irish producers to deliver Irish products to consumers at the best possible price. The Irish Food Producers Awards is an opportunity for us to recognise the quality and expertise of local Irish producers, who are committed to offering sustained quality of service. SuperValu and its independent retailers place huge emphasis on sourcing local, fresh, quality products in both branded and own brand ranges. At SuperValu 75 per cent of everything on our shelves is sourced or produced in Ireland and this is set to continue.”

Producers are invited to submit entries under one of the following categories:

  • Quality Commitment Award: Recognising suppliers who demonstrate a sustained, exceptional performance and commitment to quality, when it comes to manufacturing and delivering their product.
  • Innovation Award: Recognising suppliers who have demonstrated an understanding that innovation is a key competitive differentiator and thus crucial to business success
  • Local Producers Award: Recognising local Irish producers whose brand personality and product offering is infused with the place they are from. Delivering a real point of difference and reason to buy for consumers.
  • Best Newcomer Award: Recognising suppliers in their first two years of operation with a compelling product offering.
  • Best Fresh Produce Award: Recognising suppliers who have delivered the best fresh produce offering over the year and have embodied the value of fresh in everything they do

Application forms are available online at www.supervalu.ie, where interested participants can also download further information on each of the categories.

Consumers can also have their say by voting for their favourite food or beverage brand through the ‘People’s Choice Award’. All you have to do is pick up a nomination form in any of the 192 SuperValu stores nationwide and as well as promoting a great Irish food or beverage product you will also be in with a chance of winning SuperValu shopping vouchers. The closing date for all submissions for the Irish Food Producers Awards is Friday, 12 of March, following which three companies will be shortlisted in each category.

Jim Mulcahy Manager of Prepared Consumer Foods at Enterprise Ireland added “At Enterprise Ireland our mission is to accelerate the development of Irish companies in achieving strong positions in global markets and to support them in achieving success. The Irish Food Producers Awards is a unique opportunity to give recognition and support to Irish producers, who demonstrate excellence in their sector, and have the potential to compete internationally with premium or innovative products.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Wednesday 21 April 2010. The winning companies will be provided with a tailored mentoring programme from Enterprise Ireland, as well as the opportunity to nominate a representative to participate in a study mission to a manufacturing centre of excellence in Italy in May.

Nomination forms for the People’s Choice Award will be available in all SuperValu stores nationwide.

For details on each of the categories, please visit www.supervalu.ie

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