The contributions made by Irish food businesses, non-profit organisations and individuals to furthering social responsibility in the food sector were celebrated at the inaugural Social Responsibility Awards on Wednesday 14th October.
A total of 23 businesses were nominated for the award, covering areas from sustainability in commercial enterprises to conservation, food education projects and community gardens.
This year, the IFWG Social Responsibility Award was presented to Bia Food Initiative (BiaFi). Set up in June 2012, the Food Redistribution Centre opened in July 2014. BiaFi facilitates the transfer of surplus food from food-related businesses to charities; providing a socially responsible, environmentally sensitive, business-friendly alternative to wasting good food. It was considered to be worthy of the award because of the scale, scope and ambition of the venture, led by a team of people experienced in the world of Irish social action.
Dublin Simon Community’s Soup Run was considered by the judging panel to have contributed at such an outstanding level since it was established in 1970 that it was immediately entered into the IFWG Social Responsibility Award Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is an honour that recognises the longevity of an exceptional contribution to the community and will not necessarily be awarded on an annual basis.
Two enterprises received a commendation. The first was the Flanagan’s Fields Project, a community garden in Rialto, and Healthy Food for All, an all-island community and school food initiative that aims to alleviate food poverty by fostering positive changes in nutrition and the healthy eating behaviours of families and young people.
Aoife Carrigy, chairperson of the IFWG, said, “This is the first year that the Irish Food Writers’ Guild has presented a Social Responsibility Award. With the increasing focus on socially responsible practices, sustainability and conservation, the Guild felt that it was important to highlight the outstanding contributions being made by individuals, businesses or other entities involved in the food sector and present an award that not just communicated their efforts to a broader audience, but also conveyed a huge thank you to the people involved from the food community.”
The IFWG Social Responsibility Award 2015 was hosted by Residence in St Stephen’s Green. Additional sponsors included Ireland’s Blue Book, Eight Degrees Brewing, O’Brother Brewing, Metalman Brewing, Longueville House Cider and Richmount Elderflower Cordial.