Workshop assists Great Taste Award entrants

Thursday, 22 September 2016

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) is again encouraging local food and drink producers to enter the industry’s top accolades by holding a free workshop explaining the process. 

The Great Taste Awards, run by the Guild of Fine Food and sponsored by such leading names as Aga, Harrods and Selfridges & Co, are the Oscars of the food world. 

Via its Food Matters strategy, DEFA aims to grow the value of the food and drink industry by £50 million. 

Last year for the first time, as part of the strategy, DEFA ran a workshop explaining the entry process to producers. 

The Island went on to win a record 26 awards, putting it firmly ‘on the map’ for food and drink. Just 3,539 awards were made throughout the British Isles. 

The Department will repeat the workshop ahead of entries opening for the 2017 awards, the session taking place at DEFA’s headquarters at St John’s on Wednesday 16 November at 6.30pm. 

To register, contact Audrey Fowler, Marketing Officer at DEFA, via or +44 1624 685856. 

Andrew Lees, Food Business Development Manager for DEFA, said:

‘The Great Taste Awards are assessed by those with expert knowledge of food and drink and the quality mark is recognised the world over, so they are really something to strive for. 

‘Leading chefs, restaurateurs, food buyers, writers and retailers put entries to rigorous taste tests, awarding three stars for ‘exquisite’, two for ‘outstanding’ and one for ‘simply delicious’. 

‘There’s inevitably time and effort associated with entering the awards, so we will guide producers through the process, making it as easy as possible, with the assistance of past winners.’ 

Laxey Glen Mills attended the workshop last year and Sandra Donnelly, Managing Director, said:

‘The whole process of entering products was surprisingly easy and everything was co-ordinated for us by DEFA. 

‘To receive a couple of two-star awards with our first ever entries was fantastic. This will enable Laxey flour to compete with the big UK mills for a place on the supermarket shelves. It is a great accolade to our wheat growers and staff.’ 

BallaKarran Meat Company, run by Janette and Will Qualtrough, also had success in the Great Taste Awards after attending the DEFA workshop. Janette said:

‘We were really pleased to win two awards in our first year of entering. The workshop really helped, giving us the opportunity to discuss the process with producers who had achieved success previously. We would urge other producers to take part.’ 

To find out more about the Great Taste Awards, visit

Issued By