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Nominations invited for 2019 Food, Farming & Fishing Awards

Monday, 4 February 2019

The search is on to find the Isle of Man's most forward-looking food, farming and fishing producers.

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) is inviting nominations for the 2019 Food, Farming & Fishing Awards, which are supported by retailer Shoprite.

Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for DEFA, said:

'Farming, fishing and food production are not only integral to the Island's history and landscape but key to its future success, too.

'In line with our Island's status as a UNESCO world biosphere region, the Government is actively encouraging economic expansion, diversification, innovation and care for the land, and these annual awards support this.

'DEFA launched the Food Matters strategy in 2014 with the aim of growing the Island's food and drink sector. Since then we have supported a large number of businesses on the Island and seen the sector's economic value increase from £75m in 2014 to £100m at the end of 2018.

'The awards recognise those working hard in this vibrant, challenging industry, and contribute to a culture where local food and drink is regarded as part and parcel of the Island's national identity.'

Nominations should carry a brief overall reason and describe how they meet the awards' criteria:
For food/drink producers:

  • Market focus
  • Local food promotion
  • Resilience
  • Competitiveness
  • Use of local produce

For farmers:

  • Efficient and profitable farming
  • Meeting consumer demands
  • Local food promotion
  • Diversification
  • Conserving the environment

For fishing:

  • Marketing/branding
  • Scientific research and development
  • Economics and technical efficiency
  • Quality and traceability
  • Diversification
  • Conserving the environment

Last year's winners were Stuart Allanson, Rhendoo Farm, Jurby (farming); Will Faulds and Charlotte Traynor, Apple Orphanage (food/drink); Chris Clugston, Kallow Point Seafoods (fishing); with joint winners (special award for diversification) Mike Walker and Clare Lewis, Isle of Man Goats & Mohair and Will and Janette Qualtrough, BallaKarran Meat Company. They cannot be nominated again this year.

Amanda Noble, Marketing Manager of Shoprite, commented:

'Our customers demand high quality, local, produce and the awards honour the best of those who supply these.

'Supporting local produce benefits our economy and provides long-term sustainability and traceability in our food supply.'

Stuart Allanson of Rhendoo Farm said:

'It is a privilege for our team's hard work to be recognised amongst some of the Island's leading farms as we continue to find new ways to compete and grow in changing markets.

'Taking part in the awards has been a valuable experience and I would highly encourage producers to get involved, particularly if they are looking to raise their local profile.'

The awards will be judged by the Minister, Shoprite, DEFA officers and representatives of the industries.

Winners will be announced on Friday 9 August at the Royal Manx Agricultural Show and will receive £300 in Shoprite vouchers, trophies and certificates.

Nominations should be sent to Lucy Verdon, Marketing Executive, DEFA, Thie Slieau Whallian, Foxdale, Isle of Man, IM4 3AS, email lucy.verdon@gov.im, by Friday 29 March 2019.

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