Producers across the island of Ireland can now submit their entries for this year’s Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards. The awards, now in their 10th year, will take place at the Dingle Food Festival in late September. Last year there were more than 2500 entries in what are the largest blind-tasted food awards on the island and represent a well respected benchmark of quality for winners.
Winning entrants testify that winning a Blas award has a major impact on business. The first ever Supreme Champion, was Maja Beaujouan, who won in 2008 with a semi-hard cows’ milk cheese with seaweed. Since winning, Maja opened a cheese shop in Dingle and plans to open a second shop in Tralee. Last year’s winner, Daniel Emerson from Stonewell Cider in Cork, described winning the accolade as a “game-changer” for their company.
Buyers from independent stores and major retail chains are among those to come meet the finalist producers in Dingle, granting small producers the opportunity to get their product in front of potential stockists. A Buyers Directory, which is circulated after the awards with a list of winners and their contacts, has become a go-to reference for trade both in Ireland and overseas.
The closing date for entries is June 14th, 2017. To enter, go to www.irishfoodawards.com.