Winners of the National Organic Award in Ireland
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The achievements and contributions of Irish organic food and drink companies were recognised at the National Organic Awards held in Bord Bia’s Dublin headquarters in October 2014. Tom Hayes, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine was on hand to announce the category winners and also the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. (Picture: Laura Murphy wins two awards)
Brewmaster Laura Murphy, founder of Ireland’s first kombucha brewery SynerChi in Gweedore, Co Donegal, won both the Innovation and the Best Processed Product awards for her SynerChi Live Kombucha Original Sencha Tea. Other award winners announced were Monaghan-based My Organics (picture) which won the Best Fresh Product award for their organic living micro broccoli and Galway’s Beechlawn Organic Farm won the Best New Product Award for their organic sun gold orange cherry tomatoes. Waterford-based The Little Milk Company won the Export Award for their organic mature cheddar and Galway-based Green Earth Organics won the Direct Selling Award for their large vegetable box.
The inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Josef Finke in recognition of his longstanding work and commitment to the development of the Irish organic sector. A pioneer in the industry, Josef established one of the very first commercial organic farms in Ireland when he converted the farm at Ballybrado to organic farming in 1983. Ballybrado Ltd subsequently become one of the first exporters of organic produce from Ireland and continues to thrive today. Josef also founded Good Herdsmen in 1989 to co-ordinate the organic meat supply in Ireland and to offer the very first formal routes to market for organic producers. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the organic control bodies in Ireland, initially with IOFGA and subsequently was one of the founding members of the Organic Trust. (Picture: Josef and Marianne Finke, Bord Bia Director Aidan Cotter and Minister Tom Hayes)
Minister Tom Hayes, T.D., explained that annual retail sales of organic food in Ireland were now at €99.1 million, up from €97 million last year. There are currently 1,721 registered organic operators in Ireland and over 52,000 hectares of land is being used to produce organic food. More information is available here.