The first Food Heartland Awards in association with NFU Mutual, led by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has taken place at Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre. Over 60 businesses from across the borough competed across the 12 award categories which aims to showcase the borough’s local produce, the people behind the thriving agri-food sector as well as highlight the sector’s potential for growth and positive impact on the local economy.

The categories, sponsors and winners were:

Best New Start Award sponsored by JPH Law       

Burren Balsamics

Best Growth Business Award sponsored by Armagh Business Centre, Banbridge District Enterprise, CIDO 

Armagh Cider Company

Best Export Business Award sponsored by InterTradeIreland  

Moy Park

Best Marketing Initiative Award sponsored by U105     

Irwin’s Bakery  

Innovation Award sponsored by Avondale Foods           

Kestrel Foods

Sustainability Award sponsored by Farming Life, Lurgan Mail, Portadown Times

Harnett’s Oil

Best Dish Using Local Ingredients Award sponsored Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council    

Newforge House

Best Use of a PGI Product in a Dish Award sponsored by Tourism Northern Ireland        

The Moody Boar

Best Use of a PGI Product Award sponsored by Tourism Northern Ireland

Long Meadow Cider

Rising Star Award sponsored Southern Regional College

Kevin McCann – P McCann & Sons

Best Licensed Eating Establishment Award sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council           

The Moody Boar

Best Non-Licensed Eating Establishment Award sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council 

Yellow Door (Portadown)

Best Independent Retail Food Business Award sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council  

High Street Harvest

Industry Ambassador Award sponsored by NFU Mutual           

Irwin’s Bakery

Congratulating the Award winners, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Cllr Darryn Causby said:
“On behalf of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the winners and finalists of our first Food Heartland Awards in association with NFU Mutual. It has been an incredible journey and over the past few months we have been privileged and inspired to see the hard-work and dedication of local food companies as well as the abundance of top quality produce and producers that exists within our borough. Along with our continued partnership with The Northern Ireland Year of Food & Drink 2016 and our ongoing commitment to this industry, through the Food Heartland Forum, businesses within the borough will have ongoing opportunities to showcase their wonderful products and businesses which will only serve to benefit them but have a positive impact on our local economy.”

Roger Wilson, Chief Executive of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council commented:
“The Food Heartland Awards in association with NFU Mutual has provided a fantastic opportunity for this sector to showcase their excellence and innovation and I would like to congratulate all of our winners as well as commend all our finalists. Everyone who has taken part in the awards has helped to champion this important industry as well as help position us as a top foodie destination. We hope that everyone will continue to play a part of our on-going strategic commitment to grow the local economy and the agri-food sector. These awards are just the beginning as we continue on our journey to position our borough as the number one food destination in Northern Ireland and ensure that it plays its part on making a positive impact on our local economy.”

Libby Morgan, from NFU Mutual, Associate Sponsor of the Food Heartland Awards said:

“On behalf of NFU Mutual we are delighted to be the associate sponsor for the First Food Heartland Awards.  This has been a fantastic, vibrant and innovative evening which has showcased the very best that the borough has to offer especially in the agri-food sector. We congratulate all of the winners as well as everyone who has been shortlisted and we very much look forward to watching the borough develop and grow as a top food destination.”

For further details visit www.foodheartland.com or e-mail foodheartland@ndevents.com. Follow Food Heartland Awards on Facebook Food Heartland and twitter@FoodHeartlandNI #FHLAwards16.