Held in partnership with firmus energy, the awards are a key indicator of excellence for food and drink manufacturers, giving local companies the opportunity to showcase innovation and excellence, and present quality products in front of key retail customers.
Companies of all sizes can participate in this year’s awards, free of charge, with 13 categories including Best New Product for micro, small, medium, and large businesses as well as awards that recognise excellence in areas across sustainability, exports, supply chain, healthy food and more.
Entries will be judged by a panel of representatives from major retailers alongside other industry experts. The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony hosted by BBC Northern Ireland presenter Jo Scott on Friday 15th March 2024 in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast.
Michael Bell OBE, Executive Director, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) encouraged local food and drink businesses to enter before the 8th February deadline:
“Northern Ireland is home to some of the most innovative and successful food and drink companies. The Northern Ireland Food and Drink Awards are all about celebrating that success, and highlighting the very best food and drink products our region has to offer. The awards are also an invaluable opportunity for local firms to showcase their quality products in front of key customers and industry leaders.
“Across the 14 categories in this year’s awards we are shining the spotlight on all the products, processes and people that contribute to the success of Northern Ireland Food and Drink,” Michael added. “Our new Food & Drink Advanced Innovation Award recognises the progress local companies are making in the area of advanced manufacturing and digital transformation, and we are also introducing a new Leaders of Tomorrow award, celebrating the contribution of the outstanding young people who are driving the industry forward.
“Given the importance of food and drink to the local economy, these awards are among the most important events in the Northern Ireland business calendar, and I would encourage businesses of every size to make the most of this opportunity, and get their entries in as soon as possible.”
Niall Martindale, CEO, firmus energy said:
“Firmus energy is proud to be sponsoring the NIFDA awards again this year. Our local food and drink industry are renowned for producing world class products and the NIFDA awards provide an important platform to showcase Northern Ireland’s enormous talent in the food and drink industry, as well as recognising the value of the industry within our wider economy.
“As Northern Ireland’s largest supplier of natural gas, firmus energy is playing an important role and supports NIFDA members as we collectively work to decarbonise energy and grow our circular economy in Northern Ireland, not least from the recycling of unavoidable food waste which is already being used to produce renewable gas in our local networks.”
Other sponsors include Asda, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Food Standards Agency NI, DAERA, Invest Northern Ireland, Safefood, Birnie Consultancy, Sysco and the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland.
The closing date for entries to the 2024 Northern Ireland Food and Drink Awards is Thursday 8th February. More information on categories, and details on how to enter, please visit nifdaawards.com