Peter Hannan from Hannan Meats in Moira has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Irish Food Writers Guild. It was presented at an event at Glovers Alley in Dublin today. The Guild said the award was “in recognition of his continued work as one of Ireland’s most dedicated and highly-respected food champions”.
Peter Hannan grew up on a beef and sheep farm in Co. Kildare and founded Hannan Meats in 1991. Hannan Meats still serves its first five clients as well as some of the finest establishments in the UK, Ireland, France, Holland, Belgium and Switzerland. Provenance is one of the guiding principles of Peter’s business, and he works closely with a network of almost 150 of the best beef farmers in Northern Ireland and the Republic to produce the highest-quality meat.
Hannan Meats is also a 50% stakeholder in the renowned Glenarm Shorthorn Beef scheme. All of Hannan Meat’s beef is dry-aged in their four Himalayan salt chambers, which have a combined capacity of 6,000 primal cuts. The chambers are made of over 8,000 hand-cut Himalayan rock salt bricks that were imported from Pakistan’s Punjab region to Peter’s facility in Moira, Co. Down. The beef is aged in the chambers for an average of 35 to 45 days, though they also provide an ‘extra aged’ product for clients that ranges from 80 to 100 days. This ageing process concentrates the flavour of the meat and seals in the natural juices, producing unique, flavoursome, award-winning beef. Hannan Meats has won 230 Great Taste Award stars, with five Golden Forks, 15 Top 50 Foods awards and two Supreme Champion awards, making Hannan Meats the first producer in the history of the Great Taste Awards to take the top prize for a second time. They have also been awarded gold five times in the World Steak Challenge and have won the Gold Award in every steak category in the Blas na hÉireann awards. Last year Peter also won the BBC Food and Farming Awards Derek Cooper Outstanding Achievement Award. Today the Irish Food Writers’ Guild is proud to present Peter with our Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his continued work as one of Ireland’s most dedicated and highly respected food champions.
There was another award for Broughgammon Farm in County Antrim. They were lauded for their “exceptional commitment to the environment, which goes above and beyond their ethical farming contribution to the Environment”.
The Broughgammon Farm rears male goats that would have otherwise been put down at birth to product delicious and healthy cabrito kid goat meat. Charlie and Becky Cole believe in a sustainable, local food chain and as such encourage back-to-basics, nose-to-tail, fork-to-field and seasonal eating. They now rear free-range rosé veal and seasonal wild game as well.
The farm also has an eco-farmhouse, on-site butchery facility and farm shop that use solar thermal heating, low-flow appliances and photovoltaic solar panels. The farmhouse uses an air-source heat pump, a mechanical-ventilation with heat recovery system, wind energy, a wood pellet boiler and rainwater harvesting tanks that supply all non-potable water. While members of the Countryside Management Scheme between 2006 and 2015, the Coles preserved species-rich grassland to encourage nesting birds and wildflowers and planted many hedgerows to act as wildlife corridors between tree plantings. They are constantly re-evaluating their environmental impact and looking ahead, with plans to incorporate rainwater harvesting on the livestock housing and a natural water treatment plant for the butchery and farm shop.
The IFWG Food Awards are unique, as no one can enter themselves or their product into the awards and no company knows it has been nominated or shortlisted for an award. The Guild is the sole nominating and decision-making body. The exception to this is the Community Food Award, for which the Guild invites nominations every year from the general public as well as their own members.