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Sunday 26 May 2019

Bord Bia Awards: Recognising success in Ireland’s food and drink industry

Bord Bia has announced the shortlist for its Food and Drink Awards that will take place on Wednesday, 29th November in the RDS Concert Hall.

Some 24 companies have been shortlisted for these awards which recognise excellence and celebrate success in Ireland’s largest indigenous industry.

The companies, which represent the most progressive, ambitious and forward-looking in Ireland’s thriving food and drink industry, have been shortlisted across seven categories including Branding; Consumer Insight; Digital Marketing; Entrepreneurial; Export; Innovation; and Sustainability.

A record number of submissions were received by Bord Bia which were then adjudicated by a team of seven independent judges with extensive experience in business, global markets, media, marketing, and sustainability. Below are some of those companies on this year’s shortlist. For further information, visit www.bordbia.ie/awards #BordBiaAwards @BordBia

Sustainability Award

The Sustainability Award recognises companies that have planned and executed significant sustainability commitments in relation to sourcing, resource efficiency, health & nutrition and contributions to their local community. The shortlist includes ABP Food Group, Heineken Ireland, Boortmalt, Kerry Group and Dawn Meats

John Durkan, Environmental & Sustainability Manager, ABP

ABP Food Group

ABP Food Group is one of Europe’s leading agri-business companies, employing more than 10,000 people, across 46 processing sites in eight countries. As a founding member of Origin Green, ABP has pledged by 2020 to reduce carbon footprint by 30pc; to achieve zero waste to landfill; to reduce water consumption by 50pc, energy consumption by 30pc and electricity usage by 40pc.

In the last two years as part of their “Doing More with Less” sustainability journey, ABP has achieved several ground-breaking initiatives. These include setting up an R&D farm in Wexford to identify more sustainable production of beef bulls; developing an innovative process at a new gel-bone chip production site opened in Cahir; introducing an innovative solution in ABP Nenagh that has resulted in a CO2 reduction of 22pc; transforming the meat-packing process in ABP Clones, with a 70pc reduction in waste generation; launching a major water reduction programme across all sites resulting in a decrease in water consumption of 14pc; introducing bio-diversity areas in all sites to provide food, shelter and safe passage to many species; and introducing a common sustainability agenda. In 2017 ABP Food Group became the first company globally to receive triple certification from the Carbon Trust for the third time and remains the only Irish company to receive such accreditation.

Alan Dempsey, Group Craft Manager, Tom Bryan, Maltings Barley Technical Manager, Patrick Kennedy, Maltings Manager, John Crean, Malting Barley Operations Manager and Noel Gaffney, Plant Performance Manager


Minch Malt T/A Boortmalt, the largest producer of malt in Ireland, BOORTMALT was established in Athy in 1847 by the Minch family. While the industry is highly reliant on the use of energy, gas and electricity and drinking-quality water, Minch Malt employ best-in-class practices and technologies to optimise use of these resources.

The “Origin Green” programme is the pathway for Boortmalt used to improve sustainability at farm level. This process has culminated in Boortmalt receiving the Sustainable Agricultural Initiative (SAI) “silver” award, July, 2017. Through SAI “silver” status Boortmalt is involved in continual improvement, finding ways to develop more sustainable growing processes, products and activities that preserve natural resources and contribute to the economic and social improvement of our farming community. Their ongoing efforts to achieve sustainability have resulted in several achievements to date.

Tara Doyle, Corporate Affairs Assistant, and Sandy Boundy, Communications & CSR Manager of Heineken Ireland


HEINEKEN Ireland is a wholly owned subsidiary of Heineken NV and is a leading beer and cider company in the Irish marketplace based in Cork since 1856.

Since 2010, the company has been on a journey towards achieving 2020 sustainability commitments as outlined in its “Brewing a Better World” programme as part of Origin Green. The strategy was devised following a series of meetings that brought stakeholders together including NGOs such as Greenpeace and Amnesty International, scientists, industry and governments, along with internal specialists, to share insights. Highlights from the company’s 2016 Sustainability

Report include a total reduction in water usage per hectolitre of beer of 8pc since 2008 and becoming one of the most water-efficient breweries in Heineken, the conversion to 100pc renewable electricity resulting in a 52pc reduction in CO2 emissions per hl from production since 2008. In addition, 100pc of malted barley is now sourced from Irish farmers.


Kerry Group

Kerry Group is a world leader in the food industry, providing the largest portfolio of ‘Taste & Nutrition’ technologies and systems and ‘Functional Ingredients & Actives’ for the global food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. The group has a comprehensive and clearly defined sustainability strategy that underpins its business model. It is currently on track to deliver on targets by 2020 which include a 26pc reduction in carbon intensity, a 14pc reduction in water intensity, a 26pc reduction in waste intensity and zero waste to landfill (where technically feasible). The Group works closely with a range of charities and community groups at home and abroad including international food programmes in association with Concern Worldwide and the World Food Programme (WFP) the food assistance branch of the United Nations. More locally, the Group also has programmes focusing on Entrepreneurship, Education, Arts, Sports and Community Development.

Paul Nolan, Group Development Manager, and David O’Flynn, Group Head of CSR

Dawn Meats

Dawn Meats, established in Co Waterford in 1980, is a second-generation family-owned Irish company with operations in nine European countries marketing quality beef and lamb products to a global customer base in over 40 countries. Dawn Meats has been a verified member of Origin Green since 2012. It believes that its sustainability programme, and association with Origin Green, offers a distinct commercial advantage in engagement with customers, stakeholders and thought leaders across the world. To date Dawn Meats has achieved a 57pc reduction in CO2 intensity, 45pc reduction in water intensity, and a 41pc reduction in energy intensity.

Through the installation of heat exchange pumps, air source heat pumps, operational efficiencies, solar-powered street lighting, an integrated constructed wetland and 100pc renewable energy, one Dawn Meats site now operates with a 95pc reduction in CO2, equating to a saving of approximately 4,200 tonnes of CO2 annually. In 2015, through new waste management contracts, the company set a target of zero waste to landfill by 2020, which was achieved at the end of 2016.

Sustainability, Project Impact Award

An additional sustainability award will be announced for one of the following companies who have demonstrated outstanding impact from a specific project. These include Sam Dennigan, Monaghan Mushrooms and Butlers Chocolate.

Marketing Director Aisling Walsh

Butlers Chocolates

Established in 1932, Butlers Chocolates is Ireland’s leading family-owned producer of premium luxury chocolates and confectionery.

Sustainability and respect for the greater environment have always been at the core of its philosophy. Signing up to Origin Green shortly after the programme began gave the company an opportunity to formalise initiatives already under way and to become more strategic in its approach. The company sources ingredients and packaging locally where possible which has positive effects both in terms of emissions (less road/air miles needed) and commercially (jobs and business benefit to Irish companies). The company is also committed to sourcing ethically traded ingredients (such as chocolate and FairTrade coffee). One major initiative has been around sustainable chocolate supply where the company has signed up to the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, an independent, non-profit organisation which helps to support farmers and their communities.

Since Butlers began its Origin Green journey, the company has decreased its carbon emissions and has achieved reductions in water usage and zero waste to landfill. In 2016, the company made a strategic decision to install solar panels on its 90,00000 square foot factory roof which became the largest solar panel installation in an industrial premises in the country.

Environmental Manager Donna McKenna

Monaghan Mushrooms

Monaghan Mushrooms is one of the world’s largest fresh mushroom companies, supplying to leading national and international retailers. The Monaghan Mushrooms group currently employs almost 3,500 people across its facilities in Ireland, the UK, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Canada. Since becoming a verified Origin Green member, Monaghan Mushrooms has achieved a 12.5pc reduction in the volume of plastic used in a typical mushroom punnet and is working with customers to introduce fully recyclable paper punnets. It has also achieved a 33-55pc reduction in the volume of waste sent to landfill across all Irish sites and invested in six new energy efficient lorries. It has also signed up with FareShare and FoodCloud Hub to alleviate hunger by capturing surplus food and redistributing it.

Liam Glennon, Origin Green Team Co-Ordinator, and Jelena Zaharcuka, Sales Executive

UC Sam Dennigan and Company UC

Sam Dennigan and Company UC was founded in 1976 in Oldtown, North County Dublin. This family business, run by two brothers and directors Joe and Sam Dennigan, is now one of the country’s leading fresh produce companies, employing over 600 people at three locations in Ireland and a procurement and sales office in Spain. In 2014, recognising that company growth could not be looked at in isolation from the environment, it embarked on its sustainability journey. A Charter Plan was devised outlining sustainability targets. These included a focus on local, quality sourcing to maintain a supply base with 100pc accreditation by Bord Bia under the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme or by British Retail Consortium, which has since been achieved. The company also put a large focus on improving resource efficiency which for 2016 has resulted in a 5.57pc reduction in electricity, a 7.47pc reduction in fuel usage, while 78.05pc of waste is now recycled. The company also installed a meter to measure water usage and introduced a biological water treatment process, to offset the large volumes of water used in supplying washed potatoes.

Innovation Award

The companies shortlisted for this award have demonstrated that they are thinking ahead and proactively tracking the changing consumer landscape to develop original products and deliver solutions to meet ever-evolving consumer needs. The shortlist includes Pip & Pear, Glanbia Ireland, Wicklow Way Wines and ABP Food Group.

Stuart Scott, Senior Brand Manager, Glanbia Ireland

Glanbia Ireland

With annual revenue of €1.5 billion, Glanbia Ireland has 11 processing plants, 53 agri branches and over 1,800 employees. Spotting an opportunity to take advantage of the growing demand for macronutrient-friendly sources of protein for fitness consumers, Glanbia created

Avonmore Protein Milk and partnered with the Gaelic Players Association to launch the product. The launch of Avonmore Protein Milk in a 1L carton was well received and Glanbia saw an opportunity to broaden Avonmore Protein Milks’ appeal by extending the range to ‘on the go’ and flavoured solutions. In 2016 with the brands ‘Get in session’ campaign, it launched Avonmore Protein Milk Vanilla 500ml. This delivered 27g of protein per 500ml serving with 1pc fat milk and no added sugar.

The launch was supported with the ‘Get in Session’ ad campaign featuring three powerhouses of Irish sport – Ian Madigan (rugby), Kevin Doyle (football) and Paul Flynn (Gaelic football) on a training session together.

An extensive social media campaign was undertaken to drive awareness for the new product. Avonmore Protein Milk has been adopted by consumers and fits in with the ‘health and wellbeing’ and ‘busy lives’ trends by providing a convenient on the go protein proposition.

Eoin Ryan, Sales & Marketing Manager, John Durkan, Environmental & Sustainability Manager

ABP Food Group

ABP Food Group is Ireland’s largest processor and exporter of grass-fed beef. With consumer feedback indicating a strong demand for Irish beef demonstrating local provenance and quality, ABP set about developing the 28 Day Tipperary Dry Age Beef. This was created using a consumerled proposition involving extensive market research. The main findings included the importance of provenance and a willingness to pay a premium for quality Irish produce; an awareness of the premium qualities of the Angus breed; and a desire for a unique, boutique premium beef product. ABP decided to build a brand around Tipperary, which is renowned for its rich agricultural land and which ABP has strong connections with for almost 50 years with two processing plants employing over 1,000 people. All beef for the new range would come exclusively from selected farms in Tipperary and would be processed within the county. They partnered with Aldi, a strong promoter of Irish brands, to market the product. It has also been internationally recognised as a premium product.

Clodagh Phelan, Marketing Executive, Pip and Pear

Pip and Pear

Pip and Pear, founded by mother of two and restaurateur Irene Queally, produces chilled baby foods designed to be just like homemade – nutritious, tasty and filled with vibrant flavours and textures. The range won gold, silver and bronze at the 2015 Blas na hEireann National Irish Food Awards which led to strong interest from supermarket buyers. Pip & Pear can now be found in select SuperValu and Dunnes stores, Aldi stores and on trial with Lidl in the Republic and Northern Ireland.

Creating a new category within the baby food sector was a big challenge. Company research showed that, due to their busy lifestyles, parents tended to rely on long shelf life ambient jars and pouches as there was no short shelf life alternative of similar quality and taste to their own home-cooked meals. The initial product range catered for babies from five to 10 months but, having listened to parents and recognising a demand for a natural range of meals into the toddler years, Pip & Pear further innovated to develop a Toddler Range. This was an innovative step and one which greatly increased the length of time a consumer would purchase and enjoy Pip & Pear. This has led to a greater loyalty to the brand, likely to follow through for second and third children. The marketing strategy has been largely focused on building relationships with mothers, the main target market for the brand.

Managing Director Pamela Walsh and Production Director Brett Stephenson

Wicklow Way Wines

Wicklow Way Wines was established in Newtownmountkennedy in early 2015 by Pamela Walsh and Brett Stephenson to produce Móinéir Fine Irish Fruit Wines. Móinéir wines are Ireland’s first strawberry and blackberry wines, made in Ireland from premium Irish berries. This is a firstof-its-kind business in Ireland with a product development process that began years ago in California where the founders first tasted and enjoyed premium fruit wines, and where their first wines were made.

On returning to Ireland, the development process continued, and with expert help Wicklow Way Wines successfully transformed the juice of Ireland’s berries into delicious wines, without using grapes. The company hosted focus groups to test the market response and to understand the occasions where customers would enjoy their wines. They scaled up and soon learned that producing at small commercial scale is quite challenging, but focused their efforts on perfecting the process. Determined to use only Irish berries, they met with Irish fruit growers and organised the first order of berries in the summer of 2015. The company then created their brand, Móinéir, and launched their first wine a year later, at Bloom in the Phoenix Park in 2016. The unique strawberry wine captured the attention of much of Ireland’s media and the launch of their awardwinning blackberry wine followed in 2016.

For further information, visit www.bordbia.ie/awards #BordBiaAwards @BordBia

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