Two Food NI member companies have been shortlisted in the second Irish Made Awards by Irish Country Magazine. Shortlisted in the Food category are Harnett’s Oil from Waringstown and Mash Direct of Comber, both based in Co Down.
In addition to its listing for its award winning culinary oils and marinades Harnett’s Oils is included for its Duvillaun Irish Sea Salt, which it processes in Co Down from Atlantic salt harvested from Duvillaun Island in Co Mayo.
Mash Direct is among Northern Ireland’s most successful agri-food businesses and a major supplier of vegetable sides and convenience foods to retailers worldwide.
Both Northern Ireland companies are essentially farm-based family businesses that have developed successfully from farm diversifications. Harnett’s uses oil seed rape and hemp from the farm at Waringstown to produce culinary oils. The family also rears lamb on the Mournes.
The winners will be chosen by public vote closing on 6th August for a gala presentation in September in Dublin.
The shortlist for the various categories was drawn up by a panel of expert judges at this summer’s Bloom festival in Dublin.
Irish Country Magazine editor Jennifer Stevens and deputy editor Klara Heron were joined on the judging panel by director of Guaranteed Irish Brid O’Connell, food writer and editor Ross Golden Bannon, fashion journalist Ruth O’Connor, chief executive of Bord Bia Tara McCarthy and interior designer Roisin Lafferty.
The panel was impressed by the calibre of the entries and spent hours going through over 300 submissions to narrow down the shortlist for the public vote. Branding, design, place in the market and company website were among the criteria taken into account by the judges.
Each of the 10 category winners will feature in a special issue of Irish Country Magazine in September and the overall winner will receive an advertising package from Irish Country Magazine worth €5,000 and a membership and mentorship prize from Guaranteed Irish.