Suppliers to local SPAR and EUROSPAR stores are being invited to enter the Henderson Group’s Local Supplier of the Year awards with the winning ceremony taking place at the 2016 Balmoral Show.
As owners of the SPAR and EUROSPAR franchises in Northern Ireland, the Henderson Group run the awards to celebrate the exceptional produce, practices and ranges of the companies it works with. Now in their fourth year, the awards honour a host of different companies operating across the agri-food industry and who have shown a real commitment to delivering excellence.
Entries can be made across five categories including Enjoy Local Supplier of the Year, CSR focused Tomorrow Matters, Best Direct to Store Supplier, Brand Innovation Award and Overall Own Label Supplier of the Year with the winners being announced at a special breakfast taking place at the Balmoral Show.
As ever, the awards will be judged by an esteemed panel of food and agri experts including Joy Alexander, Head of Food Technology at CAFRE; Freda Magill, UFU Rural Affairs Committee Chairperson; David Elliott, Editor of Ulster Business and agriculture journalist Richard Wright.
Neal Kelly, Henderson Group’s Fresh Food Director, said: “As platinum sponsors, we recognise the Balmoral Show as being the pinnacle event in the calendar of the agri-food industry so holding our Local Supplier Awards during the show is a natural fit.
“These awards are the ideal platform to pledge our support for local suppliers and farmers and thank them for working hard to bring our customers the very best traceable and fresh produce we can offer.
“Having a key presence at the Balmoral Show has always been a wonderful opportunity for us to strengthen our links with the wider agri-food industry and I am confident that in the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink, the 2016 Show will be bigger and better than ever.”
Outside of the awards, SPAR will have a much wider presence at the show than ever before with a broad range of activities planned across the three-day event.
The popular enjoy local, marquee will be twice as big this year and visitors are invited along to watch live cookery demonstrations by celebrity chef and SPAR Ambassador Paula McIntyre who will be showcasing the enjoy local range of fresh meat and produce. The marquee will also be hosting a whole range of family fun and providing samples of some of the new additions to SPAR’S own brand range which has been created using top-quality suppliers from across Northern Ireland.
Other highlights include the welcome return of the SPAR Arena where show-goers can enjoy an array of family entertainment over the three days as well as the fully functional SPAR store where essentials for exhibitors and visitors can be found.
Sales and Marketing Director Paddy Doody said: “This is our sixth year as a platinum sponsor of the Balmoral Show and we are delighted to have furthered our involvement and be back on board to celebrate the 2016 Year of Food and Drink at the show. Balmoral is a fantastic family day out which is why we have a packed programme and entertainment offerings for all ages. We are already looking forward to meeting all of the visitors and having a successful three days exhibiting at the show.”