Calling all ORGANIC food producers?! (We will assume you are certified shhhhh at least by the 3rd of September). The National Organic Food Awards celebrate the achievements of an increasing number of Irish Organic food and drink growers and manufacturers. This award is held every 2 years and the awards recognise developments in the sector across key categories as judged by a panel of experts. Bord Bia with tentacles to all EU distribution channels are backing it. So it might help to get on their radar.
The award in 2018 highlights the sustainability achievements and contributions of organic producers to their local communities. There are currently 1,721 registered organic operators in Ireland with 52,390 hectares of land being used to produce organic foods.
This is a very important event to give organic food producers a platform to ‘sing’ or ‘squeeze’ about their food product and the story behind it. We need to be eating more organic food to avoid the nasty chemicals. When I wrote for many UK publications I found out that over 60% of people getting into organic production had no previous agricultural background but brought a lot of extra skills into the agricultural sector from design, to logistics and marketing and sales.
This is an important event as a platform to export. For not only do buyers in Germany, France and elsewhere in the EU need organic certification for your produce, an award makes your brand and products more attractive and trustworthy to them. You end up in their stores.
Winners are going to receive a tailored support package to the value of approximately €12,000 to assist in growing their businesses. To be honest it could be more by comparison to other awards, some might say, due to extra costs of certification and PR spend to explain organics to consumers in Ireland. However if you get into other markets like even the UK then you could grow by 20 times what you would in Ireland.
The winners will be assigned a mentor to aid in the tailoring of a suitable supports, elements will include; commercial marketing strategy, developing communication and PR plans, branding supports and assessing market opportunities. In fairness, Board Bia has major contacts in food distribution channels in lots of territories. One government agency that does not sit on its ass at least.
Winners in each category will be presented with an Irish made hand sculpted trophy and an award certificate. (Certificate is pretty big for the wall for all the neighbors to be impressed and your Mammy)
The winners are entitled to use the awards symbol for on-pack promotion. This could be a unique selling point for shop buyers and consumers. All shortlisted companies in each category as well as subsequent winners will be promoted by Bord Bia in print, broadcast and online media. This is not to be sniffed at as a lady who is the Queen of organic tan in Ireland made 1 million Euros of sales after she was on the Irish Dragons Den TV show.
Once again the food fairies at Board Bia have press contacts worldwide.
Organic food is much higher in mineral content mainly as its growing in living soil and not dead soil which most conventional plants are grown in. All disease according to Professor Linus Pauling who won the Nobel Prize can in some way be linked to mineral deficiency.
The Organic Food Award Categories for 2018 are.....
1. Chef’s Award
To include products currently available through Irish foodservice channels (restaurant, hotel, café, institutional catering). Judging criteria will include taste and quality, versatility, market opportunity and value for money.
2. Retail Award
To include products currently available through Irish retail channels. Judging criteria will include taste and quality, market opportunity, value for money, packaging and branding.
3. Direct Selling Award
To include products being sold directly at farm gate, via box schemes, online or at food markets etc. Direct sales should represent a majority of sales turnover (more than 50%). Judging criteria will include, creativity and flair in sales, customer service approach and what direct selling represents to the business.
4. Export Award
To include products for sale in export markets. Judging criteria will include, innovation for the market, evidence of success (sales results), ability of company to overcome export challenges and expected export growth in 2018/2019.
5. Best New and Innovative Product
Open to products launched between January 2017 and August 2018. Judging criteria will include market opportunity, achievements in sales growth to date, innovation and insight used to meet consumer’s changing needs in the development of product, packaging or service.
6. Business in the Community Award – NEW 2018
This new category will reflect the achievements of businesses in their local communities. All entrants should submit details of the corporate and social responsibility initiatives which their company has undertaken.
A shortlist of all producers entering the awards will be judged for their achievements in this area.
Completed entry forms must be received by Monday 3rd September 2016. Only entries on the official entry form will be accepted.
Forms must be submitted by by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no award for organic wine but people are telling me that it is growing. My second book Nutriwine is all about the modern universe of wine and also I have done a chapter just on what organic wine is all about. In short no pesticides, far less sulphites and grapes from vine roots with 20 meters depth rather than the one metre of conventional wines. You can order the book here
Bestselling author Ralph Quinlan Forde BSc (Hons) MA is the writer and editor of the Mindful Beauty blog. His first book The Book of Tibetan Medicine went into 11 languages. His second Nutriwine has