Ulster agri-food company among island’s top business achievers

Pictured at the presentation of the Food and Drink Award are, left to right, Ian Murphy, Invest NI, and Denis Lynn, Finnebrogue
Pictured at the presentation of the Food and Drink Award are, left to right, Ian Murphy, Invest NI, and Denis Lynn, Finnebrogue

An Ulster agri-food company has been named amongst the island’s top achievers in business, crowned at a prestigious ceremony in the Mansion House Hotel, Dublin.

Family-owned artisan food company Finnebrogue, based in Downpatrick, secured the Food & Drink award in the prestigious Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards against stiff competition from companies across all four provinces.

“I am delighted that three Ulster companies have been named as winners in the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards, proving yet again the calibre of companies we are producing locally.”

Richard Donnan head of Ulster Bank Northern Ireland

Having already enjoyed success at the Ulster provincial stage of the awards, Finnebrogue continued to impress the judges with their high-quality products, which are a favourite of top chefs Heston Blumenthal and Paul Rankin.

Commenting on the win, Jo Discombe, Business Director at Finnebrogue said “Winning the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Award has validated what I and the rest of the team at Finnebrogue, who are all passionate foodies, strive to achieve day in day out. The award recognises that we are delivering a product which is consistently excellent but also that we continue to exceed customer expectations.”

Run in partnership with Invest NI, InterTradeIreland, and SmallBusinessCan.com, the awards recognise the achievements of companies from across the island in a wide range of sectors.

This year’s full list of winners were;

* Small Business: AJ Power Limited, Ulster

* Social Enterprise: Bryson Charitable Group, Ulster

* Food & Drink: Lynn’s Country Foods Limited, Ulster

* Business Start Up: Rye River Brewing Company, Leinster

* Established SME: LotusWorks, Connacht

* International Business: Netwatch, Leinster

* Agri Business: Wood Energy Solutions, Munster

* Women Led Business: Specialised Sterile Environment, Connacht

* National Award: Chanelle Group, Connacht

* People’s Choice: TBC

Paying tribute to the winners, Richard Donnan, head of Ulster Bank Northern Ireland, said: “I am delighted that three Ulster companies have been named as winners in the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards, proving yet again the calibre of companies we are producing locally.

“The judges said that the quality as well as the quantity of entries this year was outstanding, so the 2015 winners can be exceptionally proud of what they have achieved. We see daily the hard-work and commitment to success among local businesses, so we are thrilled to give them the opportunity to recognise and share their accomplishments on a public platform. Extremely well done to AJ Power, Bryson Charitable Group and Finnebrogue,” he continued.

“As we get ready to launch our Entrepreneurial Spark hub in Belfast early next year, this is the kind of entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to innovation and improvement that we want to help develop and promote,” he adds.

Companies were judged on their ability to demonstrate strong financial performance and a flair for innovation, indicate company milestones and achievements and outline strategies for future business development.

In recognition of their success, winners each received an award trophy and significant marketing opportunities including a specially commissioned company video and a prominent profile page on the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards website.

For more information on each of the winners and the awards scheme, including details of how to enter for 2016, visit www.businessachieversaward.com.