Calling Mayo producers - Blas na hÉireann entries are open

ENTRIES for Blas na hÉireann 2021 are open, celebrating the very best of Irish food and drink from the four corners of the island, supported by LEO Mayo.

It’s 14 years since Blas na hÉireann, the Irish food awards, were founded, and the value and importance of celebrating and supporting our Irish producers has never been greater.

Entries are now open to producers all across the country, with the very best in Irish food and drink being judged in the largest blind-tasted food awards on the island.

“LEO Mayo is delighted to support the Blas na hEireann awards, highlighting the high-quality food produce throughout the country,” says Elaine Moyles, acting head of enterprise, LEO Mayo. “We work with local producers across the food sector offering training, mentoring and financial supports to help grow and scale their business.

"We would encourage local businesses to take part in this important opportunity to promote their products and reach a wider market.”

“The last 12 months have been like no other in the history of Blas na hÉireann,” says chairman Artie Clifford. “We could never have imagined what lay ahead when we launched last year’s awards. It is testament to our team, our partners in UCC, IT Tralee and TU Dublin, our sponsors, the resilience and innovation of our amazing producers and our wider Blas community that we were able to announce our 2020 winners in a virtual celebration last October.

“It is with this experience under our belt that we can confidently launch Blas 2021 – knowing that no matter what, we will celebrate the very finest Irish food and drink in the best way possible.”

These are exceptionally rigorously judged awards, as Blas na hÉireann use an innovative blind-tasting judging system developed by Blas with the Food Science Department of UCC and the University of Copenhagen that is now recognised as an industry gold standard worldwide. Last year, these systems were successfully moved from the campus in UCC to Dingle to work within constraints of lockdown and travel restrictions.

Having a Blas sticker on a product makes a difference to a producer’s bottom line. 2020 winner of Best New Product, Kerry Kefir, increased sales by 50% following the awards and is now stocked in six SuperValu stores and six independent retailers.

Entries for Blas na hÉireann 2021 are now open and will close on May 28. See