Comber businesswoman, Tracy Hamilton has won the prestigious All Ireland award for agribusiness and will go on to represent Ireland next year in the EU-wide Innovation Prize for Women in Agriculture. Tracy was awarded the top prize at the All-Ireland FBD (Irish Farmers Journal) Women in Agriculture Awards held at Celbridge, Co. Kildare for Agribusiness and Innovation.
Mash Direct is an independent, family-owned farming and food production enterprise launched by Tracy and her husband Martin in 2004 at their farm in County Down, close to the shores of Strangford Lough. They are brand leaders and award winning producers of quality, convenient vegetable and potato dishes. Products range from traditional accompaniments such as mashed potato and champ to complete ready-meals supplying major supermarkets in the UK and Ireland and as far afield as Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Tracy is an inspiring businesswoman who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to Mash Direct and is a tireless ambassador for the Northern Irish Food Industry. She is the first woman to be elected to the Board of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) and also sits on the Board of Food NI. Tracy is a supportive and active member of Women in Business and the Institute of Directors.
Her passion and hard work are an excellent source of inspiration to others in the farming community; Tracy really is a true leader in agribusiness innovation.
The Women and Agriculture Awards provide a national platform to recognise the central role women in agriculture play in farming and acknowledge the innovative approach they take in diversifying and adding value to their farm business. It is a lifetime award and Tracy will now go on to represent Ireland for the EU Innovation Prize.
Conor Gouldson, Company Secretary FBD Trust comments ‘Women continue to play a key role in the running of the Irish farm and the significant decisions taken concerning the farm enterprise. The Women in Agriculture Awards demonstrates the incredible depth of talent and innovation which women bring to Irish farms, adding value to the farm output and growing national household brands’
Tracy Hamilton, Mash Direct comments on winning the award ‘To win this prestigious award for our innovation is a wonderful endorsement for Mash Direct.
It is an honour to be recognised and rewarded for diversifying a small family farm into a national household brand. I look forward to my ambassadorial role highlighting women’s increasing contribution to the agri-business sector.”