Congratulations to all the seafood winners at the recent Blas na hEireann National Irish Food Awards and in particular, Beara Seafoods, who were the proud recipients of the ‘Seafood Innovation Award’ sponsored by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), at the awards ceremony held in Dingle, Co. Kerry on Friday evening (3rd October).
Photo 1 (L to R) Paul Ward (BIM SDC), Ger Lynch (Beara Seafoods), Helen Lynch (Beara Seafoods), Marian Lynch (Beara Seafoods), Katie Healy (BIM SDC), Aileen Deasy (BIM SDC)
The West Cork company received the Seafood Innovation award in addition to a Silver award in the prepared shellfish category for their innovative pre-packed mussel bites. The mussels are sustainable Irish rope mussels from the company’s own farm in Kenmare Bay. They are removed from their shells, flavoured with garlic and rolled in a multigrain crumb. Mussel bites are proving very popular both in the gourmet market and with consumers alike. They are easy and quick to cook, ideal for children and as party food and they can be stored in the freezer for up to 8 months.
Ger Lynch, fifth generation fisherman and Managing Director of Beara Seafoods explained how the product concept was developed ’Battling the recession has been difficult for all companies in the last few years and the mussel industry is no different. I knew there was an opportunity for us to add value to our mussels and develop a product that could demand a higher price on the market. I approached BIM in 2011 and using a recipe developed by my wife, the team at BIM’s Seafood Development Centre assisted me on all aspects of new product development including shelflife formulation, labelling guidelines, packaging formats and market research. Many different flavours and crumbs were trialled before we launched the final product. We are over the moon with this award as we put so much work into this new range and it has really paid off. Our product is available in a range of restaurants, retailer and SuperValu stores in the Munster area and we are now looking forward to expanding this to retailers nationwide in the near future’
Irish Seafood products were showcased for their taste, innovation and quality at the prestigious event with a further 12 awards for eight seafood companies. Silver Darling’s, another company that recently worked with BIM to develop their new Norwegian inspired herring product range also won Silver in the ready meals & prepared cold foods category for their pimento herring product. In the ‘Cold Smoked’ seafood category; Kerryfish won Gold for their ‘Quinlan’s Smoked Irish Salmon’, Dunn’s of Dublin took Silver for their ‘SuperValu Signature Tastes Applewood Smoked Salmon’ and William Carr & Sons received bronze for their ‘Aldi Specially Selected Irish Organic Salmon’
In the ‘Hot Smoked’ seafood category; East Coast Seafoods won Gold for their Hot Smoked Salmon with Galway Bay Seafoods taking Silver and Bronze for their barbequed smoked salmon and Hot peppered smoked mackerel fillets respectively.
In the ‘Prepared fish category’; Keohane Seafoods received the Gold award for their ‘Terrifically Tasty Cajun Salmon Darnes’, The Good Fish Company took Silver for their ‘Mr Goods Fabulous Fish – Amazin Cajun Spiced Salmon Supreme’ and Keohane’s also took Bronze for their ’Whole Salmon Fillet with Dill & Lemon’
The final seafood category ‘Prepared Shellfish’, Kerry Fish were recognised again with the Gold award for their ‘Quinlan’s Fish Fresh Irish Crab Meat’, Beara Seafoods received Silver for their innovative mussel bites and William Carr & Sons were recognised again with a bronze award for their ‘Dublin Bay Prawn Cocktail’
Donal Buckley, BIM’s Business Development & Innovation Director congratulated all concerned; ‘The Blas na hEireann National Irish Food Awards are an important and prestigious event in the calendar and the standards are exceptionally high. We are delighted that seafood has become such an important part of the awards and the success for seafood products this year is testament to the quality of Irish seafood and the creativity and resilience of our Irish Seafood Industry. We were delighted to present Beara Seafoods with the Seafood Innovation Award; it is well deserved and as part of the award we are pleased to announce that we can offer Ger and his team €4,000 worth of innovation services through the BIM Seafood Development Centre in order to develop his next product range. Congratulations to all the seafood award winners’