Henderson gets set to reward fresh industry leaders at Balmoral Awards

Henderson SM Farm
Launching the 2019 Henderson Wholesale Fresh Innovation Awards are last year’s Overall Supplier of the Year, Gary Mason from Irwin’s Bakery with host Jo Scott and Nigel Dugan, Fresh Foods Trading Controller at Henderson Wholesale. The awards, which reward the best of Henderson Group’s local suppliers, will take place on Friday 17 May at the Balmoral Show.

Henderson Wholesale has launched its local food awards for 2019, set to take place at the Balmoral Show.

The Fresh Innovation Awards 2019 will honour all those local farmers, growers and suppliers which Henderson Wholesale’s Fresh Team works with throughout the year to better the product ranges on shelves of Spar and Eurospar stores and supermarkets in Northern Ireland.

Last year new categories were added to honour the industry’s Young Agri-food Innovators and those who have made a significant impact with the Contribution to Agri-food Industry in Northern Ireland Award.

Brian Irwin of Irwin’s Bakery was named as the inaugural winner, with the company also being named Overall Supplier of the Year.

Gary Mason from Irwin’s Bakery joined host of the awards, BBC NI’s Jo Scott and Nigel Dugan, Fresh Foods Trading Controller and Chair of the judging panel, to launch the awards for 2019.

Mr Dugan commented: “Our local food suppliers are integral to the growth of our wholesale business, and the Fresh Innovation Awards are an important initiative to honour the pioneering work they are undertaking to push the boundaries of our industry even higher.

“Categories including Own Brand Supplier of the Year will reward those helping us to continue to improve and revamp our enjoy local and The Kitchen brands, while the Product Innovation Award is a nod to those who are shaking up how we use local ingredients to produce completely homemade and entirely local products for our shoppers.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the entries and our judges, once again, to be blown away by the quality and innovation in the local fresh food industry.”

The judging panel will once again be made up of industry experts with the full panel from 2018 returning for the 2019 panel: food writer Sam Butler and Joy Alexander, Head of Food Technology at CAFRE, will once again be joined by Irish News Business Editor Gary McDonald and Dr Lynsey Hollywood, Ulster University Business School’s Agri-Food Business Development Centre Manager. Michele Shirlow, MBE, CEO of Food NI also joins the panel for the first time.

In total there are seven categories, also including Excellence in Regional Delivery, and the Tomorrow Matters Award which rewards those suppliers that can demonstrate their own company’s initiatives aligned to Henderson’s own CSR strategy, People, Place, Planet.

Local suppliers to Henderson Group can enter the Fresh Innovation Awards via www.freshinnovationawards.com

n The Awards and Breakfast ceremony will take place at Balmoral Show on Friday, May 17.

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