Double joy at Coop Welsh Supplier Awards!

Coop Welsh Supplier Awards_2019We were thrilled to sweep two top awards at the inaugural Co-op Welsh Supplier Awards (2019) held in Cardiff!

Hosted by Welsh TV and Radio Presenter, Jason Mohammad – and with Anglesey-based Chef Ellis Barrie among the judging panel – the awards were designed to showcase and celebrate Wales’ food and drink.

Here at Puffin Produce, we picked up the “Fresh Product of the Year” title for our award-winning Blas y Tir PGI Pembrokeshire Early Potatoes, as well as being crowned joint winner of the overall “Welsh Supplier of the Year” award.

“We’re thrilled to been recognised in such a way by Co-op at the first Welsh Supplier Awards” explains Managing Director Huw Thomas. “We knew we’d been shortlisted for ‘Fresh Product of the Year’, but there was tough competition in the category and we were absolutely delighted when our Pembrokeshire Early Potatoes were awarded the prize. To be named ‘Welsh Suppliers of the Year’ was a complete surprise, but it’s fantastic that Co-op have recognised what we’re doing here at Puffin Produce.”

Chef Ellis Barrie at Coop Welsh Supplier Awards_2019

“It’s becoming increasingly important to consumers that they know where their produce comes from” explains Huw, “and, as a grower-owned business, we’re proud to be able to support our Welsh growers by providing Welsh consumers with access to quality Welsh produce. We’re proud to be working with Co-op to increase that availability to our loyal consumers.”

Key attendees and organisers included the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, as well as Chef Ellis Barrie and Coop Head of Local Sourcing Simon Dryell:

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 characterised 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: “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.”