Farmer and National Dairy Council Ambassador Eamon Sheehan accepted the Outstanding Contribution to Food Production award at this year’s Good Food Ireland® Awards which took place today in Kildare. Eamon accepted the award on behalf of Ireland’s 17,500 dairy farmers, the backbone of Ireland’s Agri-food business, boosting our tourism industry and supporting the economy of our rural environments.
Margaret Jeffares, Founder and Managing Director of Good Food Ireland® said “This honorary award from Good Food Ireland® is to recognise and celebrate the thousands of farmers all over Ireland that provide the primary ingredients for menus and what we eat and drink every day. The farmers who send their milk to the co-ops, who never engage directly with consumers and really are as we see it the unsung heroes of our food industry. On behalf of our Tourism Hospitality businesses and our customers we want to say thank you to farmers and honour them through this award”.
She goes on to say, “Farming is a generational legacy and offers an immense cultural contribution to Irish tourism and the wider community”.
Now returning for the first time since pre-Covid, the highly coveted Good Food Ireland® Awards took place today Monday 17th April at The K Club, County Kildare. The high-profile business lunch was opened by guest of honour, Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, and attended by some 300 guests including business owners, Irish and international chefs, buyers, food and drink writers, media and industry leaders.
Commenting on the new award, Zoë Kavanagh, CEO of the National Dairy Council said
“Farmers are the driving force behind quality products that people want to purchase and are a key part of a healthy, modern lifestyle – the demand for which just keeps increasing – and yet, as an industry, what we are doing in the area of sustainability simply is not being recognised. These Awards are unique in the way that they champion Ireland’s primary food producers. Good Food Ireland wants to shine a light on biodiversity at farm level as well as the way producers grow, cultivate, and harvest premium food produce to leading chefs, establishments, and retailers. Now, more than ever, it is important to show all the hard work and innovation that is happening within the Irish farming industry.”
Ireland’s 17,500 dairy farmers work 365 days a year to produce the highest quality dairy produce which is revered all over the world exporting to 191 countries with an €6.2 billion contribution to the economy.
NDC Farmer Ambassador Eamon Sheehan said.
“I am really proud to accept this award on behalf of Ireland’s dairy farmers. There has never been a more valuable time to celebrate excellence in dairy farming and highlight the hard work and dedication of some of Ireland’s top dairy food producers. Our climate and land produces dairy with one of the lowest carbon footprints internationally, primarily due to the unique Irish grass-fed, family-farmed system which is extremely efficient. During challenging times people need to have trust in what they know, dairy is nutritious, accessible, and affordable and is recognised as a vital part of people’s diet and general health across the life stages, indispensable to Ireland’s social and economic well-being.”
The awards are proudly sponsored by the National Dairy Council, Kerrygold, Irish Farmers Association, Tourism Ireland and Bord Bia. For full details on the individual awards, tickets to the event, and general information about Good Food Ireland® visit goodfoodireland.ie.
For further information on NDC please visit www.ndc.ie.