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SuperValu, the Irish Times and Enterprise Ireland recognise excellence, quality and innovation within the Irish food and beverage sector with the inaugural SuperValu Irish Food Producers Awards

SuperValu is delighted to announce that the Flahavan’s Group has won inaugural SuperValu Irish Food Producers Awards; the awards have been created to recognise excellence, quality and innovation within the food and beverage sector in Ireland. The SuperValu Irish Food Producers Awards took place today in Dublin, where short listed Irish food and beverage producers from throughout the country gathered for the presentation. Flahavan’s impressed the judging panel with their commitment to continually adapt and innovate their product offering to meet the changing needs of consumers. Through renewed focus and investment Flahavan’s has managed to ensure that their product offering is as relevant for consumers today as it was when Flahavan’s first began oat flaking at their mill in Kilmacthomas 1935.

Donal Horgan, Managing Director of SuperValu said: “We are extremely proud to be associated with the Irish Times and Enterprise Ireland in recognising the best producers in Ireland and I would like to congratulate our well deserved winner Flahavan’s, all of the companies short listed and of course each of the category winners. As a business we listen to what the Irish consumers want and given the choice, we know people want to buy Irish. Flahavan’s has demonstrated a commitment to improving and diversifying their product range in recent years and we are proud to work with them and all Irish suppliers to deliver Irish products to consumers at the best possible price. At SuperValu we place huge emphasis on sourcing local, fresh, quality products in both branded and own brand ranges and 75 per cent of everything on our shelves is sourced or produced in Ireland. We are very proud to support the Irish food industry and this is something we are committed to continuing.”

In addition to the overall award, winners were announced in six other categories, including the Peoples Choice Award, which was voted for by shoppers across all 192 SuperValu stores nationwide. Barry’s Tea emerged as the nation’s favourite, just edging out many other well-know Irish brands available across all stores.

The winners in the five other categories were as follows:

  • Quality Commitment Award – Kepak: Kepak Group, based in Clonee Co Meath is the winner of this category for demonstrating a sustained, exceptional performance and commitment to quality in terms of the manufacturing and delivery of their product, with HACCP and QUACCP systems in place.
  • Innovation Award – Flahavans: The Flahavan’s Group, based in Waterford impressed the judges with their Quick Oats microwaveable range by being the first Irish-produced Quick Oats convenience range on the market. Contributing 0.4 per cent of turnover to R&D activities, Flahavan’s has proved itself to be a company that is dedicated to innovation and quality.
  • Local Producers Award – The Just Food Company:  The Just Food Company, based in Cobh, Co Cork impressed the judges with their labour-intensive approach to production. They do not use industrial machines; therefore products are homemade and taste fresher, as they are prepared in smaller batches allowing faster cooking and faster cooling. All of these elements contribute to overall freshness.
  • Best Fresh Produce Award – Country Kitchens Bakery: Country Kitchens Bakery from Midleton, Co Cork, is committed to delivering fresh produce to customers and their use of innovative modified atmosphere packaging really impressed the judges.
  • Best Newcomer Award – Delicious Gluten Free Bakery: Delicious Gluten Free Bakery based in Ballincollig, Co Cork caught the judges’ attention with their impressive submission outlining their commitment to producing quality, handmade gluten-free products that tasted on a par with conventional products. The judges were impressed by their  energy, passion and hunger for success and how they identified a new opportunity in the market and developed a solution to meet the demand

Commenting on the awards Jim Mulcahy from Enterprise Ireland said: “Congratulations to all of the companies involved in the awards. 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 SuperValu 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.”

Paul Farrell from the Irish Times said: “The Irish Times congratulates all the Irish companies who have entered the SuperValu Irish Food Producer Awards. These companies have demonstrated performance and commitment to quality, and in the current economic climate it is a testament to all of them that they have maintained excellent standards in all aspects of their business.With over 150 years’ relationship with the retail trade in Ireland, The Irish Times is proud to be associated with these awards recognising Irish producers’ commitment to compete both nationally and internationally within the food and beverage sector.

A representative from each of the winning companies will win the opportunity to travel to a manufacturing centre of excellence in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy in June where they will participate in an Enterprise Ireland business study mission.

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