Final phase of judging concludes at inaugural BIM Seafood Retail Business Award

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency has concluded the final phase of judging  for the inaugural Seafood Retail Business Award 2018. Winners will receive prize worth €15,000.

The award was established to identify and acknowledge the seafood business with the best seafood business skillset. It also strives to facilitate shop owners and managers in the sector to innovate and improve the management of their businesses.

Each applicant was visited by two judges and assessed on his/her ability to demonstrate a range of skills including excellent seafood product knowledge, customer insight, innovation and plans for future development of the business. Eight finalists from across Ireland will now compete for the coveted titles of ‘Independent Seafood Specialist 2018’ and ‘Supermarket Seafood Manager 2018’. The judging panel consists of business experts including retail mentor James Burke, renowned food writer, Domini Kemp, financial advisor Moira Creedon, and Ronald Hovenars, a food business mentor from Holland, who brings an international element of insight into progressive seafood retailing.

The domestic retail market for seafood continues to go from strength to strength, with figures collated by Kantar Worldpanel valuing the market at approximately €245million per annum in the 52 weeks ending on 18th June 2017. This figure represents a 4% increase in the value of the overall market compared to the previous year.

Speaking at the final judging event, Jim O’Toole, BIM’s Chief Executive said: “Recent figures have shown that the domestic retail market for seafood is on an upward trend. It is our responsibility as an agency, to support our retail seafood sector workers to capitalise on this growth, in a bid to bolster our industry even further. The Seafood Retail Business Award was designed as a means through which the hard work and dedication of those working within the sector can be acknowledged whilst also acting as a catalyst for others to innovate and grow the businesses in which they work, whether this be employee or owner-led”.

The finalists are as follows:

Independent Seafood Specialist

Supermarket Seafood Manager

Presentations have been made by each finalist on their business and growth plans before a judging panel on 28th September last in the Maritime Museum, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. The winners in each category will receive a package of business supports worth €15,000 euro. The package is designed to assist the winner in areas practical to the running of a business such as future business growth as well as branding and promotional advice.

The announcement of the winners is set to take place at an awards lunch, in the Wineport Lodge, Glasson, Co Westmeath on 16th November.