The search is on to find the Isle of Man’s most forward-looking farmers and food producers.
The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) is inviting nominations for the 2017 Food & Farming Awards, which are supported by retailer Shoprite.
Nominations should carry a brief overall reason and describe how they meet the awards’ criteria:
- Efficient and profitable farming
- Meeting consumer demands with their produce
- The promotion of locally produced food
- Innovative farm diversification
- Farming in ways that conserve the environment for the future.
For food producers:
- Market focused
- Local food promotion
- Use of local produce.
Nominations should be sent to Audrey Fowler, Marketing Officer, DEFA, Thie Slieau Whallian, Foxdale, Isle of Man, IM4 3AS, email firstname.lastname@example.org, by Friday 31st March 2017.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:
‘One of the guiding principles of the Government is empowering enterprise that leads to innovation and economic growth. These awards tie in with that ethos.
‘Through its Food Matters strategy, my Department is encouraging the growth of the food and drink sector, which makes an invaluable contribution to the economy.
‘Farmers and food producers are at the heart of the strategy and these awards recognise those who have keen interest in the market place, diversify to meet consumers’ demand and create products the Isle of Man can be proud of.’
John Speakman, Senior Buyer for Shoprite, commented:
‘Shoprite is pleased to be associated with the Food & Farming Awards as they recognise the best of the local producers, who provide Shoprite with the high quality local products that we require to serve our customers.
‘We see the awards as a way to encourage farmers and food producers to seek to produce the best food products to supply the growing demand from the Island’s residents. Supporting local production is beneficial to the Isle of Man economy as well as providing long-term sustainability and traceability in our food supply.’
Last year’s winners were the Kneale Brothers of Lough Dhoo Farm, Ballaugh (farming) and Norman Morrey and Emma Pickard from Andreas Meats (food). They cannot be nominated this year.
The award will be judged by the Minister; Mr Speakman; Dr Peter McEvoy, Director of Agriculture with DEFA; Andrew Lees, DEFA’s Food Business Development Manager; Brian Brumby, President of the Manx National Farmers’ Union, and Andy Corrin, President of the Royal Manx Agricultural Show.
They will visit shortlisted farms and food businesses.
The winners will be revealed on Friday 11 August at the Royal Manx Agricultural Show and will each receive £200 in Shoprite vouchers, trophies and certificates.