IFWG Food Awards 2024
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The Winners Of The IFWG Food Awards 2024 Have Been Announced

“If we don’t address the crisis facing Ireland’s restaurant sector we will not only see the closure of many more local businesses this year, but the potential demise of our wider vibrant food industry,” according to Caroline Hennessy, chair of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild (IFWG) who addressed food industry guests prior to announcing the eight winners of the IFWG Food Awards 2024.

IFWG Food Awards 2024

“Notwithstanding the challenges facing small food and drink businesses right now, we have a sector of which we can be extremely proud,” said Caroline Hennessy. “Today’s IFWG Food Awards are a celebration as we shine a light on exemplars of the country’s thriving, world-class artisan food and drink industry. But Ireland’s producers need support from government, from supermarket and restaurant buyers and from consumers who want to eat and drink exceptional and sustainably sourced Irish produce.

“From oysters to organic meats and chicken, traditionally made pastry and Ireland’s first and only vermouth, this year’s winning produce together with our chosen producers and innovators are the heart and soul of our domestic food industry and they deserve our support,” said Caroline.

The winners of the IFWG Food Awards 2024 are:

  • Food Award: Carlingford Oysters, Co. Louth. A Pacific oyster with a sweet nutty flavour followed by a slight tannic lingering aftertaste that takes more than three years to reach maturity.
  • Food Award: Regan Organic Chicken, Co. WexfordA case-study of an alternative food system at work, each step of the Regan Organic Chicken process is designed to care for the welfare of the birds and to maintain a close connection to nature and natural food production.
  • Food Award: Roll It All Butter Pastry, Co. MeathComfort and convenience all rolled into one, Mairead Finnegan’ uses simple and honest Irish ingredients to produce a pastry that is easy to use and free from additives and preservatives.
  • Irish Drink Award: Valentia Island Vermouth, Co. KerryÓr Valentia Island Vermouth has been making a splash as the first ever Irish vermouth created by the innovative wife-and-wife team Anna and Orla Snook O’Carroll.
  • Notable Contribution to Irish Food: Conor Spacey, Co. Dublin.Through his work with organisations such as Food Space, and as co-creator of The Chefs’ Manifesto, Conor Spacey shows that a zero-waste approach to food in hospitality settings is not only attainable but cost effective too.
  • Environmental Award: Rare Ruminare, Co. SligoThe goal at Rare Ruminare is to produce the heathiest and best tasting meat possible. Clive Bright’s holistic grazing management approach uses carefully planned grazing events followed by long recovery periods, moving the cattle around to emulate natural herding behaviour.
  • Community Food Award: Cork Urban Soil Project, Co. Cork.CUSP was established in 2017 by a collective of forward-thinking activists and creative dreamers who see food as a tool for social change. Their aim was to test and model a ‘closed loop’ community-scale waste system, one that treats food scraps as a valuable resource for the community.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Peter and Mary Ward of Country Choice, Co. Tipperary. Peter and Mary Ward have ben passionate champions of local food since they opened Country Choice in 1982, selling the best and most natural ingredients they can source.
IFWG Food Awards 2024

The awards, now in their 31st year, spotlight excellence and distinguishable quality in Irish produce and its committed creators. Sustainability is a consistent thread and numerous family businesses have been recognised over three decades not only for their excellent produce and practices, but also for the lasting and enduring legacy they are creating for current and future generations.

The IFWG Food Awards serve as a timely and significant reminder. They not only celebrate producers’ hard work and their love for their craft but also prompt us to consider the impact of current economic conditions on our sector and explore solutions for the long-term success of Ireland’s artisan food industry.

IFWG Food Awards 2024

Caroline Hennessy continued: “Every time a restaurant or café closes, anessential revenue stream for our small producers is severed. We exist within an ecosystem, and the convergence of high energy costs, labour expenses, and other challenges affects everyone involved. Jobs and livelihoods hang in the balance and it is our responsibility to take action. By supporting these producers, we are also supporting the local economy and communities that rely on them.”

Sponsored by Bord Bia, Una Fitzgibbon, Director of Marketing added: “As a connector of Irish food and drink products to the world, it is entirely fitting that Bord Bia continues to support the work of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild as it celebrates and honours the exceptional quality of Ireland’s artisan food industry. Congratulations to all eight winners and thank you for your contribution to the Irish food and drink industry, which sets an inspiring example to the wider industry.”

IFWG Food Awards 2024
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