Local Producers recognised at TASTE AND Food Heroes Awards

Thursday 14th April 2022

Local food and drinks producers have been recognised at the inaugural TASTE AND Food Heroes Awards, hosted by Ards and North Down Borough Council at Clandeboye Estate.

A group of men and women attend an award ceremony

2021 proved to be a hugely successful year with 19 local food and drink producers claiming an impressive 89 industry awards across a range of national and international standards. The TASTE AND Food Heroes Awards recognised their achievements at a prestigious ceremony that included the inaugural presentation of the Lady Dufferin Producer of the Year Award.

Judged by representatives from Clandeboye Estate, Clandeboye Courtyard and Clandeboye Yoghurt, Sir Ian Huddleston presented the Lady Dufferin Award to Stephen, Lorraine and Hannah Alexander of Ballyboley Dexters. As one of the youngest companies that achieved success in 2021, their Greyabbey-based family-run farm fought off stiff competition from other finalists that included Copeland Distillery, Earth Rainbow, Rock A Doodle Doo and Totally Hot NI.

Many other businesses were recognised for their achievements during the evening too, with a wide range of producers from across the Borough celebrating their successes.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Mark Brooks, said:

“Congratulations must go to all of the award winners. The importance of food and drink production within Ards and North Down cannot be understated. The Borough now ranks a very strong third place out of Northern Ireland’s 11 local authorities for the number of awards won by our talented food and drink producers.”

“There is a very strong and multi-faceted agri-food industry that ranges from micro-companies to large exporting companies. Thanks to our local farmers, growers and restaurants constantly creating high quality, award-winning produce, Ards and North Down is emerging as a key food destination.”