Independent ‘field-to-fork’ brand Mash Direct has been recognised by Innovate NI as a ‘Silver Level Innovator’ on behalf of the Department for the Economy.
Mash Direct is an innovative farming enterprise, run by the Hamilton family at their farm in County Down, close to the shores of Strangford Lough.
They grow and produce quality, convenient ‘field to fork’ vegetable and potato side-dishes, boasting 23 Great Taste Awards ranging from Mashed Potato to Cauliflower Bites.
Jack Hamilton, Chief Executive Officer, Mash Direct, comments: “We are very excited and proud to announce that we have been recognised by Innovate NI on behalf of the Department for the Economy for our innovation.
“This recognition is a credit to the staff here at Mash Direct who are constantly striving to develop our ever-growing portfolio of fresh, healthy and convenient vegetable side dishes.”
Innovate NI is a Department for the Economy initiative which is delivered by Invest NI in partnership with local councils and further education colleges.
The main aim of the programme is to increase the number of businesses throughout Northern Ireland engaging successfully in innovation.
The programme recognises innovative businesses and provides guidance on the best practice to help businesses innovate successfully.
Mash Direct produces over 50 products that are 100 per cent gluten-free and free from artificial colourings and flavourings and are available throughout Ireland and the UK.
All products have very low food miles and are easily traceable from ‘field to fork’ whilst also coming in recyclable packaging, contributing to a low carbon footprint for the company.
Mash Direct was started by Martin and Tracy Hamilton at their family-run farm near Comber in 2004.
The Hamiltons began farming the fields around Strangford Lough back in the 1800s and the land has been passed down through six generations.
After successfully growing and selling vegetables for 25 years, Martin, who is a fifth-generation son of the soil, and Tracy decided to embark on a new direction for their farm, with the aim of combining the tastes of yesterday with modern convenience and innovation.
Today, Mash Direct is a family affair with Martin, Tracy and both of their sons, Lance and Jack, all helping the company to become a household name.
From the initial dream of making traditional ‘Ulster’ Champ for convenience in 2004, the Hamilton family has grown Mash Direct into a national brand employing 245 people.