ENTRIES NOW OPEN FOR 16th NORTHERN IRELAND FOOD & DRINK AWARDS

Northern Ireland’s food and drink companies are invited to enter the 2022 Northern Ireland Food & Drink Awards.

Sponsored by Firmus Energy, the awards are recognised by the industry as a key indicator of quality and success for food manufacturers and processors, offering local companies an invaluable opportunity to showcase innovative, quality products in front of key customers and stakeholders.

Other sponsors include Asda, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Food Standards Agency, DAERA, Invest Northern Ireland, safefood and Food & Drink Sector Skills.

There are a range of opportunities for food and drink companies of all sizes to participate in the awards, free of charge, with 12 categories including Best New Product for mirco, small, medium and large businesses, Best International Launch, Agri-Food Supply Chain Excellence and Food Safety.

The entries will be judged by a panel of industry experts, including representatives from major retailers.

The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony hosted by BBC Northern Ireland presenter Jo Scott on Friday 11 March 2022 in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast.

The closing date for entries to the 2022 Northern Ireland Food and Drink Awards is Monday 31st January 2022.

KEY DATES

Wednesday 12th January 2022

Entries Open

Monday 31st January 2022

Entries Close

Friday 11th February 2022

Judging Day

Friday 11th March 2022

Awards Event at Crowne Plaza, Belfast

2022 AWARD CATEGORIES

Please see 2022 Categories for Entry below:

Once you have selected the category you wish to enter, please download the correct Entry Form (using the button below the Category Criteria in each section) and return by email to nifda@morrowcommunications.com no later than 5pm on Monday 31st January 2022.

Large Company Product Award (sponsored by Firmus Energy)

The Large Company Product Award is open to any company with a manufacturing base predominantly in Northern Ireland. The award aims to identify the food and drink companies who have taken up the challenge of providing new and commercially viable products in a retail setting.

The Judges will consider both product innovation and process innovation or any combination of both.

  • To enter this category, businesses must have 251+ employees.
  • Businesses must have been trading for at least 3 years up to 31st January 2022.
  • The product must, in the view of the judges, be commercial and have been launched in the marketplace during the period 1st February 2019 – 31st January 2022.
  • A maximum of TWO products per company will be permitted.
  • Only individual products should be entered and NOT a range of products.
  • Each product entered must be submitted on a separate entry form.
  • Only ONE seasonal product will be permitted, should you enter more than one product.

Medium Company Product Award (sponsored by Firmus Energy)

The Medium Company Product Award is open to any company with a manufacturing base predominantly in Northern Ireland. The award aims to identify the food and drink companies who have taken up the challenge of providing new and commercially viable products in a retail setting.

The Judges will consider both product innovation and process innovation or any combination of both.

  • To enter this category, businesses must have 51-250 employees.
  • Businesses must have been trading for at least 3 years up to 31st January 2022.
  • The product must, in the view of the judges, be commercial and have been launched in the marketplace during the period 1st February 2019 – 31st January 2022.
  • A maximum of TWO products per company will be permitted.
  • Only individual products should be entered and NOT a range of products.
  • Each product entered must be submitted on a separate entry form.
  • Only ONE seasonal product will be permitted, should you enter more than one product.

Small Company Product Award (sponsored by Firmus Energy)

The Small Company Product Award is open to any company with a manufacturing base predominantly in Northern Ireland. The award aims to identify the food and drink companies who have taken up the challenge of providing new and commercially viable products in a retail setting.

The Judges will consider both product innovation and process innovation or any combination of both.

  • To enter this category, businesses must have 11-50 employees.
  • Businesses must have been trading for at least 3 years up to 31st January 2022.
  • The product must, in the view of the judges, be commercial and have been launched in the marketplace during the period 1st February 2019 – 31st January 2022.
  • A maximum of TWO products per company will be permitted.
  • Only individual products should be entered and NOT a range of products.
  • Each product entered must be submitted on a separate entry form.
  • Only ONE seasonal product will be permitted, should you enter more than one product.

Micro Company Product Award (sponsored by Firmus Energy)

The Micro Company Product Award is open to any company with a manufacturing base predominantly in Northern Ireland. The award aims to identify the food and drink companies who have taken up the challenge of providing new and commercially viable products in a retail setting.

The Judges will consider both product innovation and process innovation or any combination of both.

  • To enter this category, businesses must have 0-10 employees.
  • Businesses must have been trading for at least 3 years up to 31st January 2022.
  • The product must, in the view of the judges, be commercial and have been launched in the marketplace during the period 1st February 2019 – 31st January 2022.
  • A maximum of TWO products per company will be permitted.
  • Only individual products should be entered and NOT a range of products.
  • Each product entered must be submitted on a separate entry form.
  • Only ONE seasonal product will be permitted, should you enter more than one product.

Service Sector Award

The Service Sector Award is open to any company with a manufacturing base predominantly in Northern Ireland. This award aims to identify the food and drink companies who have taken up the challenge of providing new and better products to the Service Sector.

The award is targeted at companies who have incorporated commercial solutions to enable them to reach new horizons by innovative applications of product development and service technologies.

  • A maximum of ONE Product per company will be permitted.
  • Only individual products should be entered and NOT a range of products.
  • The product or innovation must, in the view of the judges, be commercial and supplied in a non-retail setting.
  • The judges will consider both product innovation and process innovation or any combination of both.
  • The innovation must have been launched into the marketplace during the period 1st February 2019 – 31st January 2022.

Outstanding Contribution to NI Food & Drink Award

For the Outstanding Contribution to NI Food & Drink Award, we ask applicants to nominate an individual, providing details around their financial, technical or corporate impact on the Organisation and/or Industry.

DAERA Sustainable Agri-Food Supply Chain Excellence Award

The DAERA Sustainable Agri-Food Supply Chain Excellence Award, is open to any Northern Ireland agri-food business or group of businesses that can demonstrate the creation or improvement of supply chain linkages that have delivered clear benefit to producers.

The judges will look for innovative initiatives that show co-operation with supply chain partners.

Best International / GB Product Launch Award (sponsored by Invest NI)

For the Best International / GB Product Launch Award, the business must be selling product outside of Northern Ireland.

The product(s) being sold must have been developed and / or manufactured in Northern Ireland and the product launch should have been initiated after 1st January 2019.

Food Safety Champion Award (sponsored by safefood)

The Food Safety Champion Award is open to any Northern Ireland food business or consortia.

The judges will consider any food safety initiative, developed by someone working within a food business between February 2019 and January 2022, that clearly supports the safety of their food products.

Initiatives may include the enhancement of food safety aspects of food production/processing, the introduction of innovative in-house food safety training, the identification and correction of food safety vulnerabilities, etc. This award is aimed at someone who performed over and above their stated duties.

Food & Drink Sector Skills Award

The Food & Drink Sector Skills Award is open to any company with a manufacturing base predominantly in Northern Ireland. This award aims to identify the food and drink companies who have taken up the challenge of providing new and better skills through training to their workforce, with the aim of improving efficiency, profitability and employee satisfaction.

The award is targeted at companies of all sizes who have incorporated employee training or development programmes etc to enable them to grow skillsets, and/or obtain qualifications, resulting in a positive outcome for the organisation.

Healthier Product Innovation Award (sponsored by the Food Standards Agency)

The Healthier Product Innovation Award recognises the commitment of a Northern Ireland business to offer healthier products lower in calories, sugar, saturated fat and/or salt.

Reformulating food to reduce levels of calories, sugar, saturated fat and salt is recognised as an important strategy to support consumers to eat a healthier diet. Evidence from the Food Standards Agency demonstrates Northern Ireland consumers are increasingly becoming more interested in healthy eating and in products with reduced sugar, salt and fat. The challenge for industry is reducing a product fat, sugar and salt content while maintaining the taste, quality and appearance.

Judges will be looking at successes in reformulated pre-packed food products as well as newly developed pre-packed products lower in calories, sugar, saturated fat and/or salt when compared to similar products for sale in the Northern Ireland marketplace. Food businesses registered or approved in Northern Ireland across all sectors of industry are eligible.

Environmental Sustainability Award

The Environmental Sustainability Award is open to any company with a manufacturing base predominantly in Northern Ireland. This award aims to highlight food and drink companies that have initiated projects to enhance sustainability and reduce their environmental footprint.

The award is targeted at companies of all sizes who have launched initiatives to reduce their impact on the planet, by making processes and products more sustainable.

EVENT SPONSORS

AWARDS EVENT

The Awards Event will take place on Friday 11th March 2022 at the Crowne Plaza, Belfast.

Crowne Plaza Belfast
117 Milltown Road,
Belfast, BT8 7XP

Further information on how to book tickets for the event will follow.