Local food and drink producers have won a record number of Great Taste Awards – the ‘Oscars’ of the food industry.
The Guild of Fine Food, which runs the awards, announced yesterday (Thursday) that 26 Isle of Man products have won awards. Last year, 10 products earned the accolade and in 2014, four were recognised.
Billed as the world’s largest and most trusted, the awards are sponsored by such prestigious names as AGA, Harrods and Selfridges&Co.
Leading food critics, chefs, restaurateurs, cooks, producers and food writers put entries to rigorous taste tests.
This year, more than 10,000 products were submitted in 35 categories, only 35 per cent winning an award.
For the first time, as part of its Food Matters strategy, the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) held a free workshop to encourage producers to enter.
DEFA aims to grow the value of the food and drink industry by £50 million over the next decade.
Richard Ronan MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:
‘Great Taste is the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers.
‘Products are judged on taste alone, by some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry, so gaining an award is a huge accolade for producers.
‘Our strategy for the growth of this economically important sector sets out that we need to benchmark Isle of Man food and drink against the best there is and build the reputation of our brand.
‘Only this week, we published results of a survey which showed there is a great appetite for Isle of Man food and drink.
‘The Isle of Man’s success in these awards firmly puts us on the map in terms of gaining an ever wider reputation for its high quality food and drink.
‘Winners can use the widely recognised Great Taste Award logo on their packaging and in their marketing to demonstrate the quality of their product to customers, which will greatly advantage them.’
Award winners are Manx Cider Co, Roots Beverage Company, Laxey Glen Mills, BallaKarran Meat Company, Paddy’s Hooked on Fish by Robinson’s, Isle of Man Creamery, Manx Ices, Kella Distillers, the Hooded Ram Brewing Company, Noa Bakehouse, Berries Luxury Pudding Makers and Confectioners and Isle of Man Meats.
For full details of the awards, visit https://gff.co.uk/awards/great-taste-awards/
The Guild of Fine Food will announce its top 50 entries on Saturday 6 August. On Monday 5 September, the highest accolades, the regional Golden Fork Awards and the overall Great Taste Supreme Champion 2016, will be made at an event in London.