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Food suppliers urged to enter Fresh Innovation Awards

From left, Neal Kelly, fresh food director, Henderson Group and Gordon McAtamney from butchery company K&G McAtamney, who picked up Overall Supplier of the Year at last year’s Fresh Innovation Awards.

Henderson Wholesale has launched its 2020 Fresh Innovation Awards programme with winners set to be announced on May 15 at this year’s Balmoral Show.

The awards, now in their eighth year, honour local farmers, growers and suppliers who work with Henderson Wholesale’s Fresh Team to further improve customer product ranges in SPAR and EUROSPAR supermarkets throughout Northern Ireland.

The initiative features seven categories including Own Brand Supplier of the Year which rewards food companies who help improve and revamp the enjoy local and The Kitchen brands, the Product Innovation Award highlighting those who shake up how we use local ingredients to produce homemade and entirely local ranges and the CSR focused-Tomorrow Matters Award.

New for 2020 is Fresh Produce Supplier of the Year which seeks to recognise dynamic farmers, growers and wholesale suppliers who produce and/or distribute innovative and convenient great tasting product ranges.

Other retained categories are Excellence in Regional Delivery and Overall Supplier of the Year whilst criteria for the Young Food Innovator award has been tweaked to include talented individuals aged up to 35.

Television news presenter and co-host of BBC’s Home Ground programme, Jo Scott is MC of the awards breakfast at Balmoral and awards programme judges are; food writer Sam Butler; Irish News Business Editor Gary McDonald; DAERA Head of Future Food Policy Joy Alexander; Food NI’s Michele Shirlow; and Ulster University’s Dr Lynsey Hollywood. Chair of the panel is Henderson Wholesale’s Fresh Food Trading Controller Nigel Dugan.

“Our local suppliers are essential to the growth of our wholesale business and the Fresh Innovation Awards recognises and honours the pioneering work they undertake to push the boundaries in fresh food production and how they wow our customers with new and superb quality product ranges,” said Neal Kelly, fresh food director, Henderson Group.

SPAR Northern Ireland, owned by the Henderson Group, will once again support the Balmoral Show as a Platinum sponsor, offering visitors an extensive programme of family fun with taste testing from local suppliers alongside performances and entertainment in the SPAR Arena.

Patrick Doody, sales & marketing director, Henderson Group, said: “We’re thrilled to once again be part of the largest show in the agri-calendar and are looking forward to showcasing our brand and our passion for local produce.”

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

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