The biennial National Organic Awards, celebrating the quality and excellence across the Irish organic sector, has seen two Waterford based companies announced amongst the winners.
With seven categories judged by a panel of industry experts, Bord Bia, in association with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, recognised the achievements of six Irish organic food and drink companies.
Waterford Distillery was awarded the Retail Award for their organic Gaia 1.1 whisky, the first Irish organic whiskey launched in October 2020. While the New and Innovative Award went to Waterford baby food producer Pipin Pear, for the development of a new organic chilled baby food product, ‘Baby Beef Ragu’. The new product uses 100% recyclable packaging and a bowl format making it convenient for on the go.
Begley’s Leeks won the Private Label Award for their work with SuperValu to create fully compostable packaging for their organic leeks. Monaghan based The Nest Box Egg Company, who are stocked in over 105 stores worldwide, won the Export Award for their Golden Irish 10 Organic Egg box which was specifically designed for the export market.
Burren Smokehouse won two awards; the company was awarded the E-Commerce Award for the use of digital marketing to drive sales of their organic salmon range and the Business in the Community Award for their initiative ‘Taste the Atlantic – The Salmon Experience’. Yogurt company Glenisk was awarded the Marketing Campaign Award for its partnership with Self Help Africa to plant over One Million Trees in Africa and Ireland.
To coincide with the Awards, Bord Bia has released research on consumer attitudes to organic food.
The findings show that a quarter of consumers have purchased more organic produce since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 27% buying organic food weekly or more.
Health was the key reason for choosing organic food (73%), followed by taste (65%) and environmental concerns (55%).
The study also found that people under the age of 35 are more likely to pay more for organic food.
Commenting on the high standard of entries to the Awards, Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia, said, “The range of organic products coming out of Ireland right now is exceptional, and the dedication to producing world class organic produce was evident amongst the entire shortlist for the Awards. Significant shifts in consumer preference to healthy, sustainable food choices endorses our confidence for the sector.
“Specifically there are growing opportunities for Irish producers and exporters, in the German and French organic markets where Ireland enjoys a strong image as a food producer and we look forward to working with companies and growers, including many of those shortlisted, to explore these in the future. Congratulations to all the nominated companies, and the very deserving winners.”
The successful companies won a digital marketing package to the value of €5,000.