Hosted by Welsh TV and Radio Presenter, Jason Mohammad – and with Anglesey-based Chef Ellis Barrie among the judging panel, the inaugural Co-op Welsh Supplier Awards celebrated a feast of Welsh produce.
The community retailer had invited its suppliers to enter the Awards to showcase and celebrate the history, passion, quality and innovation found in abundance in Welsh food and drink.
The Co-op – which marks its 175th anniversary this year – stocks over 500 Welsh products, from beer to bakery and, curry to ice cream. In addition, its backing for British agriculture has seen all of its own-brand fresh meat sourced in Britain, a move which has ensured Welsh lambs availability in-store all year round.
The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said:
“The Co-op has a reputation for supporting strong communities and stocking fresh locally sourced Welsh produce in their shopping outlets and these inaugural supplier awards give us an excellent opportunity to recognise and celebrate our exceptional food and drink products. Welsh food and drink producers are characterized not only by dedication to producing a quality product but also to innovation. This year’s award winners are prime examples of this.”
Chef Ellis Barrie – who won through to the final week of The Great British Menu in 2018 with his fish dish served up at a banquet celebrating 70 years of the NHS, said:
“The beauty, surroundings and abundance of fresh ingredients around our restaurant in Wales is a constant inspiration for our team, and we know this to be the case for many producers and growers in communities across Wales who create stand-out quality food and drink. I have a passion for local sourcing and seasonality which I know is at the heart of the Co-op’s approach, I am delighted to have teamed-up with the Co-op as it launched its first Welsh Supplier Awards. The judging was incredibly challenging, and it was a real pleasure to celebrate great Welsh food and drink.”
Simon Dryell, Head of Local Sourcing, Co-op, added:
“I would like to applaud all of our suppliers. As a community retailer, locally sourced produce is an area where we see continued sustainable growth. This is driven by growing consumer demand and, awareness in great locally produced food and drink which is made with a mix of quality, pride, history and innovation. We build close relationships with our growers and producers, and we want them to thrive in our communities. The award’s present a unique platform to showcase, celebrate and support the very best in Welsh produce.”
In addition to great food and drink, the awards were also designed to celebrate product innovation; sustainability – including developments in production and packaging and, suppliers who are active in communities. At a glittering awards ceremony in Cardiff, the winners announced:
|Winner 1||Winner 2|
|Bakery Product of the Year||Popty Bakery|
|Own Label Supplier of the Year||Dunbia|
|New Product of the Year||Village Dairy|
|Beers, Wines, Spirits Product of the Year||Penderyn|
|Grocery Product of the Year||Welsh Lady|
|Fresh Product of the Year||Puffin Produce|
|Best Agriculture Initiative||Village Dairy|
|Most Sustainable Supplier||Princess Gate|
|Local Supplier of the Year||Village Dairy|
|Welsh Supplier of the Year – Awarded jointly to:||Puffin Produce||Boss Brewery|
|Succeed Together Award||Boss Brewery|