29/08/2002

Search begins for top NI food and drink companies

The search has begun for the best food and drink exporter in Northern Ireland, with the launch of the annual Food from Britain (FFB) and HSBC Food and Drink Export Awards in association with The Grocer.

For the second year the competition includes a separate award for the leading food and drink exporter in Northern Ireland, which will be presented to the company that has excelled in overseas markets at Food from Britain’s Export Award Luncheon in London on 11 December.

Now in their sixth year, the FFB and HSBC Export Awards celebrate the success of food and drink companies in international markets, and have become the premier event for British food and drink exporters.

Charlotte Lawson, Director of Business and UK Services at FFB, said: “Despite difficult trading conditions, Northern Irish food and drink companies have enjoyed widespread success in recent years. We are delighted to recognise their efforts and achievements, and the quality of their produce, by inviting entries for this prestigious award.

“Northern Irish food and drink draws on the combined strength of its farming, culinary and manufacturing heritage, and it is great to see products recognised abroad for their quality and innovation.”

There are seven categories for entrants to choose from: cereal-based; grocery; drinks; seafood; speciality; frozen and chilled and the new confectionery.

Every entrant into one of these categories will automatically go forward into one of the four national awards for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as the International Marketing Award and the overall title of Food and Drink Exporter of the Year 2002.

The Northern Irish Exporter of the Year Award, which has been sponsored by Invest NI and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland, is open to any food and drink company in Northern Ireland that has been exporting for three years or more.

Further information and details of how to enter can be obtained from www.foodfrombritain/star

The deadline for entries is 1 October, and the winners will be announced at the Export Awards Luncheon and Network Forum on 11 December at the Hotel Inter-Continental in London.

(SP)

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