Isle of Man food and drink producers are toasting their best ever year in Great Taste Awards – the ‘Oscars’ of the food industry.
The Guild of Fine Food has announced that 56 Isle of Man products have won awards, double the number achieved in 2016. The previous year, 10 Manx products achieved awards.
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, with identifying packaging removed.
Throughout the British Isles, 12,336 products were submitted in 35 categories, only 35 per cent winning any award.
Seventeen Isle of Man producers – Berries Luxury Pudding Makers and Confectioners, Manx Fudge Factory, Isle of Man Creamery, Hooded Ram, Close Leece Farm, Laxey Glen Mills, Paddy’s Hooked on Fish, Dave’s Delicious Dogs, Kella Distillers Ltd, Isle of Man Meats, Ballakelly Farm, Aalin Dairy, The Dairy Shed, Leela’s Kitchen, Jerk Mek Ya, Staarvey Farm and Roots Beverage Co – had their products recognised.
Berries (sea salted caramel sticky toffee pudding), Manx Fudge Factory (honey fudge) and Isle of Man Creamery (whey butter) were among just 165 products entered from throughout the whole of the British Isles that won the highest accolade, the three-star award, signifying a products is ‘exquisite’.
Ballakelly Farm won an outstanding 15 awards.
For the second year, as part of its Food Matters strategy, the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) held a free workshop to encourage Isle of Man food and drink producers to negotiate the process of entering the awards.
Geoffrey Boot 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.
‘That the Isle of Man has achieved so many awards for such a diverse range of products is testament to the quality, enterprise and innovation of our food and drink producers and cause for celebration.
‘It also reflects the practical and financial support the Isle of Man Government invests in growing Isle of Man food and drink.
‘The Isle of Man’s unprecedented success in these awards will further enhance our reputation as a foodie destination and a special place to live, work and visit,’ the Minister said.
‘Winners can use the distinctive black and gold 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.’
For full details of the awards, visit the Great Taste Awards
The Guild of Fine Food will shortly announce its top 50 products – from the 165 three-star winners – and these will be in line for regional Golden Fork Awards and the overall Great Taste Supreme Champion 2017, awarded in London on 4 September.