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Entries open for 15th Northern Ireland Food and Drink Awards

Food and drink companies across the province are invited to enter the 2019 Northern Ireland Food and Drink Awards.

Sponsored by Ulster Bank, the awards are recognised across the industry as an indicator of commercial success for manufacturers and processors.  Held biennially, they offer companies a unique opportunity to showcase their commitment to excellence in front of key stakeholders and customers.

With eight categories including ‘Best New Product’ for small, medium and large businesses, ‘Supply Chain Excellence’, ‘Best International Launch’ and a ‘Service Sector Award’, there are a range of opportunities for companies of all sizes to participate, free of charge.

A panel of industry experts, including representatives from major supermarkets, will judge the entries. The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony hosted by BBC presenter Jo Scott on Friday 22nd March in the Crowne Plaza, Belfast.

Encouraging food and drink businesses to enter before the 22nd February deadline, Michael Bell, Executive Director, NIFDA said:  “The NIFDA awards are an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the world-class quality of Northern Ireland produce in front of an audience of industry leaders and customers. Given the importance of agri-food to our economy, it is amongst the most important events in our business calendar, so we’re encouraging businesses of every size to make the most of the opportunity by entering as soon as possible.

“This year, we’re also inviting the industry to have a say in the ‘Outstanding Contribution’ category for the first time. We want to hear about people who through their leadership, passion and dedication to Northern Ireland food and drink have had a lasting and positive impact on the sector.”

Nigel Walsh, Director, Corporate & Commercial Banking, added: “Supporting this year’s NIFDA Awards is important to Ulster Bank as they recognise the excellence and hard work of businesses in a sector that is central to the success of the local economy. Our long association with the awards reflects our pride in celebrating the many achievements of the food and drink industry in Northern Ireland, its resilience, and its ability to adapt and compete.

“At Ulster Bank, we feel that we have shared values with food and drink businesses, including a strong focus on meeting customer needs, and a commitment to innovation. We would encourage food and drink companies across Northern Ireland to enter the awards, and we very much look forward to a great celebration of their outstanding work in March.”

Other sponsors of this event include Tesco, ASDA, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Co-Op, Invest Northern Ireland, Deloitte, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Livestock and Meat Commission and Safe Food.

The closing date for entries to the NIFDA Awards is Friday, 22nd February 2019.  For more information on categories, entry requirements (free to enter) and to download an entry form please visit www.nifdaawards.com