Top of crop shortlisted for Henderson fresh food awards

Judges of the Henderson Wholesale Local Supplier Awards, from left, Joy Alexander, Sam Butler, Freda Magill and David Elliott join Nigel Dugan from the Henderson Group to shortlist the entrants of the 2017 awards.
Judges of the Henderson Wholesale Local Supplier Awards, from left, Joy Alexander, Sam Butler, Freda Magill and David Elliott join Nigel Dugan from the Henderson Group to shortlist the entrants of the 2017 awards.

The top of the local supplier crop in Northern Ireland has been shortlisted in the annual Local Supplier Awards, hosted by Henderson Wholesale at the Balmoral Show.

12 companies, which span across the country, are shortlisted across five categories including Brand Innovation and Tomorrow Matters, a nod to Henderson’s own CSR practices.

The winners will be announced at an Awards Breakfast at Balmoral Show on Friday 12 May.

Established in 2012, the Local Supplier Awards celebrate the outstanding products, practises and ranges offered to SPAR and EUROSPAR stores in Northern Ireland and enables The Henderson Group to applaud the companies who supply to its extensive Fresh ranges.

Other categories in the awards are Best Own Brand Supplier, Best Direct to Store Supplier and Supplier of the Year. The record amount of entries from 29 companies were judged by an independent panel of agri-food and agri-business experts; David Elliott, editor of Ulster Business Magazine, UFU Rural Affairs Committee Chairperson Freda Magill, Joy Alexander, Head of Food Technology Development at CAFRE and Sam Butler, Irish Chair of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists.

With SPAR returning to Balmoral as a platinum sponsor and food and drink taking centre stage throughout the four-day event, Henderson Group’s Fresh Food Director, Neal Kelly, explains why hosting the awards final during the show is a perfect fit.

“The Balmoral Show is the pinnacle of all that is great about our local agri-food industry and as industry eyes turn to the event, we feel it’s a great opportunity to showcase the incredible work of our local suppliers who work hard throughout the year to deliver such exceptional produce for our customers.

“I’d like to thank each of the companies who took the time to enter the awards this year and for demonstrating so capably all of their fantastic achievements. I know the judges, with their combined food, agri and business expertise, had some incredibly tough decisions to make in order to select the winners and were blown away by the consistently high standard of entries.

“I look forward to welcoming all of the companies who entered, to our awards ceremony at the show on Friday 12 May where the all-important announcements will be made.”

As a platinum sponsor, SPAR will continue to have a huge presence at the show with a range of activities to keep everyone entertained. The SPAR Arena will return as the dedicated home of family fun during the show and will host an exciting line-up of world-class entertainers.

Showgoers are encouraged to visit the enjoy-local marquee where the ovens will be fired up with SPAR and EUROSPAR ambassador chef Paula McIntyre at the hob, cooking up enjoy local steaks, burgers, chicken and chops, all sourced from Northern Ireland’s local farmers.

Younger visitors can enjoy lots of games and activities in the marquee and the fully functional SPAR store returns, helping visitors and exhibitors to pick up all the essentials during the show and enjoy some great value deals.