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Food Heartland

Food Heartland Awards

Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council is delighted to announce that the Food Heartland Awards 2018 in association with Power NI will take place on Wednesday 12th September 2018 at The Palace Demesne, Armagh.

Entries for the awards are now open and we would encourage all local food and drink businesses and young people working and studying in the sector to enter and get the recognition they deserve. Please note that the deadline for entries is 5:00pm on Friday 6th July 2018.

The award categories for the Food Heartland Awards 2018 are:

  • Best New Start Award
  • Best Growth Business Award
  • Best Export Business Award
  • Best Marketing Initiative Award
  • Innovation Award
  • Sustainability Award
  • Best Dish Using Local Ingredients
  • Best Use of a PGI Product in a Food or Drink Product
  • Rising Star Award (for anyone under the age of 25)
  • Best Licensed Eating Establishment
  • Best Non-Licensed Eating Establishment
  • Best Independent Retail Food Business

Please click here to view detailed information on each of the award categories.

The Food Heartland Awards give local businesses and individuals in the agri- food sector a platform to recognise their hard work, passion and commitment to business excellence. The agri-food sector is thriving and diverse. From specialist artisan producers to household brands and global names… from Great Taste and Irish Food Award winners to outstanding restaurants and eateries. The borough is also home to an abundance of high quality food & drink as well as world renowned products with protected status – Armagh Bramley Apples and Lough Neagh Eels.

The award categories and entry criteria for the Food Heartland Awards 2018 are:

Best New Start Award – Application Form & Interview
The Best New Business Award will recognise a successful new food or drink business in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area. This award is open to any business located within the Borough that started trading from April 2016.  The applications will be judged on the following factors:

  • Description of the business and how it was established to address a market need/gap in the market;
  • What has been achieved since establishing the business; and
  • Future growth plans.

If shortlisted as a finalist, you will be required to attend a short interview with the judging panel.

Best Growth Business Award – Application Form & Interview
This award is for businesses that have achieved demonstrable growth within the last 3-years by successfully implementing a growth strategy. This award is open to all food and drink businesses in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area that can demonstrate growth in one or more of the following areas; Turnover, Profitability, Staffing, Product Portfolio, Market share and or geographic coverage.  Applications will be judged on:

  • The specific areas in which the business has grown and over what timeframe
  • The factors that influenced the business growth
  • How the business has responded to the growth

If shortlisted as a finalist, you will be required to attend a short interview with the judging panel.

Best Export Business Award – Application Form & Interview
This award recognises the achievement and excellence of food and drink businesses, large and small, from Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area, in reaching new markets by exporting their products to areas outside of Northern Ireland. (GB and Republic of Ireland will be considered as export markets).

This award has been created to encourage and recognise companies that have generated substantial and sustained export sales activity.  Applications will be judged on:

  • How the business identified the export market potential and developed and launched an export strategy;
  • Evidence of the growth of the export activity part of the business including the percentage of export sales and to which countries/regions; and
  • How the business plans to maintain and expand the export market.

If shortlisted as a finalist, you will be required to attend a short interview with the judging panel.

Best Marketing Initiative Award – Application Form & Interview
This award will recognise a food and drink business that can demonstrate a creative, innovative and effective marketing initiative that has inspired their target market and increased sales, profit, and company profile.  The judging panel will be looking for effective use of the chosen marketing initiative or campaign to promote the business.  Applications will be judged on:

  • Outline of the problem that the marketing initiative sought to solve with key objectives and targets of the marketing initiative or campaign;
  • Evidence of the market research and approach of the initiative; and
  • The return on investment, the outcome and outputs of the initiative.

If shortlisted as a finalist, you will be required to attend a short interview with the judging panel.

Innovation Award – Application Form & Interview
This award celebrates new ideas, processes and products that have greatly contributed to a company’s success.  This Award will recognise the food or drink business that has most successfully applied and integrated innovation to their company.  The judges wish to see how the business used innovation to generate better results within their company.

Applications should demonstrate how an innovation or innovative approach has:

  • Resolved an existing problem;
  • Evidence how a culture of innovation has been adopted within the business; and
  • Evidence how the innovation improved business performance? (Turnover, new markets, profit).

If shortlisted as a finalist, you will be required to attend a short interview with the judging panel.

Sustainability Award – Application Form & Interview
This award is about recognizing the impact of a culture of corporate sustainability. The judges will wish to see examples of food and drink companies who have implemented a culture of sustainability.  Applications should demonstrate:

  • The development of the company’s sustainability plan
  • Progress that, as a result of the plan, has been achieved;
  • The impact the plan, and its activities, has had on the company’s culture as a whole; and
  • Any future plans in relation to sustainability.

If shortlisted as a finalist, you will be required to attend a short interview with the judging panel.

Best Dish Using Local Ingredients – Application Form & Taste Test
This award seeks to showcase the best of local ingredients from the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area. This award will be judged initially by an application process in which the judges will look for the following:

Identification of the dish which is being proposed for the taste test with a clear rationale for why they have selected this dish and a clear outline of the local ingredients being used and why.

If shortlisted the applicant will then take part in a taste test with a member of the judging panel visiting your premises to taste your freshly prepared dish.

Best Use of a PGI Product in a Packaged Food or Drink Product – Application Form & Interview with Tasting
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon is extremely proud to be home of two of three Northern Ireland PGI status products: The Lough Neagh Eel and the Armagh Bramley Apple. In order to elevate the status of these two products this award will look for the best use of either or both the Lough Neagh Eel or Armagh Bramley Apple in a product (includes drinks).

Please note this only applies to packaged products and not freshly prepared dishes – see Best Dish Using Local Ingredients award for freshly prepared dishes.

This award will be judged initially by an application process in which the judges will look for the following:

Identification of the product which is being proposed for the taste test with a clear rationale for why they have selected this dish and a clear outline of the PGI and other local ingredients being used and why.

If shortlisted the applicants will be invited to an interview where the judges will also be able to taste your product.

Rising Star Award (for anyone under the age of 25) – Application Form & Interview
This award will recognise the exceptional success to date of young professionals, managers, students in higher level hospitality studies and or apprentices in any aspect of a local food or drink business.  The applicant will need to be 25 years and under on 6th July 2018 working or studying in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area.

Applicants will need to demonstrate the successes in their career to date and show significant promise as a future leader in a food or drink business in the Borough.  Applicants can put themselves forward, or be nominated by another person. Applications will need to include:

  • A summary of professional and personal achievements and business successes in the food sector; and
  • An endorsement from the employer or a client (if applicable).

If shortlisted, the interview will require the individual himself or herself to be present.

Best Licensed Eating Establishment – Application Form & Mystery Shopping Visit
This award is designed to attract applications from licensed food outlets, e.g., hotels, restaurants, pubs and cafes within the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area. The judges will be looking for a business that delivers an excellent customer service environment and overall ambience in addition to a tempting range of food suitable to the needs of its consumers.  Applications should include:

  • Customer service strategy/policy and outline how they exceed customer expectations.
  • An overview of their menu(s) offered, including use of local ingredients, and how this was designed with the customer in mind.

Applicants of this award will also be required to submit their website information so the judges can view sample menus, images of exterior and interior décor etc.

If shortlisted, the finalists will have a mystery shopping visit that will decide the overall winner of the award.

Best Non-Licensed Eating Establishment – Application Form & Mystery Shopping Visit
This award is designed to attract applications from non-licensed food outlets, e.g., restaurants and cafes within the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area. The judges will be looking for a business that delivers an excellent customer service environment and overall ambience in addition to a tempting range of food suitable to the needs of its consumers. Applications should include:

  • Customer service strategy/policy and outline of how they exceed customer expectations.
  • An overview of their menu(s) offered, including details of use of local ingredients, and how this was designed with the customer in mind.

Applicants of this award will also be required to submit their website information so the judges can view sample menus, images of exterior and interior décor etc.

If shortlisted, the finalists will have a mystery shopping visit that will decide the overall winner of the award.

Best Independent Retail Food Business – Application Form & Mystery Shopping Visit
This award is designed to attract applications from the independent food retail sector within the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area. It is specifically to aiming to attract the likes of independent green grocers, bakeries, butchers, confectionary, delicatessen and convenience outlets who believe they have the best product range in the Borough.  The judges will be seeking to review the following in the application form:

  • An outline of the business including background and sales figures;
  • An outline of how they set themselves apart from other food retailers, including details of unique / premium quality products;
  • An outline of their customer base and how they seek to meet and exceed the needs of those customers with specific examples;
  • Any future plans for their business.

If shortlisted, the finalists will have a mystery shopping visit that will decide the overall winner of the award.

Please click on the award category that you would like to enter to download the application form:

You may enter more than one category, but a separate form is required for each entry. Read the criteria on the website or entry form carefully before responding to all questions.

A panel of experts undertakes judging for each category. Stage 1 of the judging process will be to shortlist submissions based on each award category criteria.  The panel will assign marks according to predetermined criteria to ensure consistency between judges.  The judges’ decision is final and canvassing may lead to disqualification.

Shortlisting will take place by Monday 23rd July 2018 and shortlisted applicants will be contacted if successful.

Shortlisted applicants for the following award categories:

  • Best New Start Award
  • Best Business Growth Award
  • Best Export Award
  • Best Marketing Initiative Award
  • Innovation Award
  • Sustainability Award
  • Best Use of a PGI Product in a Food or Drink Product Award
  • Rising Star Award (for anyone under the age of 25)

 

will be required to attend a 15-minute interview/presentation on Tuesday 14th August 2018 at Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre.  Unfortunately, we are not able to reschedule this date and by entering the awards you are agreeing that you will be available for interview on this date.  Any shortlisted applicants who are unable to attend the interview will automatically scored a zero in this stage of the competition.

Shortlisted applicants for the following award categories;

  • Best Licensed Eating Establishment
  • Best Non-Licensed Eating Establishment
  • Best Independent Retail Food Business

a mystery shopping visit will be conducted on the premise and the results of this activity will decide the winners of each category.

Shortlisted applicants for the Best Dish Using Local Ingredients will have a visit from the judges to taste your proposed dish within your business premises.  This visit will take place on Wednesday 15th August 2018.

All applications must be received by email to by 5:00pm on Friday 6th July 2018.

The Food Heartland Awards has appointed an independent delivery agent who will form the judging panel for these awards. This panel will be responsible for reviewing applications, interviewing finalists and selecting winners of each category.

  • All entries must be submitted to ND Events by 5:00 pm on Friday 6th July 2018 by email to
  • Any private sector organisation within the food and drink industry operating in the Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council area is eligible to enter the awards
  • Entering more than one category is allowed, but each entry must be submitted on separate entry forms (please note each award category has individual criteria)
  • The judges, organisers and sponsors cannot accept responsibility for the validity of claims made by entrants
  • If appropriate, the judges may decide to submit your nomination for an additional category
  • Winners will be announced at the Awards Gala Dinner on Wednesday 12th September – no results will be announced before this date
  • Shortlisting will take place by Monday 23rd July 2018 and shortlisted applicants will be contacted if successful
  • Shortlisted applicants for the following award categories; Best New Start, Best Business Growth, Best Export, Best Marketing Initiative, Innovation Award, Sustainability Award, Best Use of a PGI Product in a Packaged Food or Drink Product and Rising Star Award will be required to attend a 15-minute interview/presentation on Tuesday 14th August 2018. Unfortunately, we are not able to reschedule this date and by entering the awards you are agreeing that you will be available for interview on this date.  Any shortlisted applicants who are unable to attend the interview will automatically scored a zero in this stage of the competition.
  • Shortlisted applicants for the following award categories; Best Licensed Eating Establishment, Best Non-Licensed Eating Establishment, Best Independent Retail Food Business – a mystery shopping visit will be conducted on the premise and the results of this activity will decide the winners of each category.
  • Shortlisted applicants for the Best Dish Using Local Ingredients will have a visit from the judges to taste your proposed dish within your business premises. This visit will take place on Wednesday 15th August 2018.
  • Award winners may state in advertising/promotional activities that they are winners, but must include the category and the year in which the award was won
  • Entry to the Food Heartland Awards implies acceptance of the rules and conditions
  • Data Protection – The information you provide on your entry form(s) will be held on a database to allow processing of your entry. Your details may be used to inform you of other events and services relating to the Food Heartland Awards as well as development opportunities for local businesses that are supported by Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council. Your contact details will be kept for a maximum of two years when we will contact you to notify you of the Food Heartland Awards 2020.

If you have any further questions regarding the Food Heartland Awards 2018 then please do not hesitate to contact us.

For information about award entries, sponsorship, table/ticket sales please contact:

ND Events
Tel: 028 9263 3232
Email:

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