The winners were revealed last night Thursday in the climax of the Welsh culinary calendar - the 10th anniversary Wales the True Taste Food and Drink Awards.
Held at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, the 2011-12 Wales the True Taste Food and Drink Awards ceremony showcased and rewarded some of the best and most innovative food and drink products from Wales, and recognised excellence in the retail and hospitality sectors.
Over the past decade thousands of companies have competed in the Welsh Government Awards which this year attracted some 1,017 entries from 366 companies large and small.
Alun Davies, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, said he was greatly impressed by the standard of entries in the independently judged Awards.
“For a decade the Wales the True Taste Food and Drink Awards have been at the forefront of promoting the wonderful array of Welsh produce, and cements the important partnership between the food industry and Welsh Government.
“There is no doubt Wales has a talent for producing top quality, flavoursome food and drink. Food is an important part of the Welsh way of life and is inextricably linked to our culture; indeed it is part and parcel of our DNA.
“The skill and enthusiasm of producers has put our produce on the world stage, and the True Taste Awards give new and established businesses an important promotional platform.
“Being a True Taste winner enables producers to catch the consumers’ eye and compete in the global market place; and I am delighted to congratulate all those who have received Awards this year.”
The 10th anniversary Awards were held in association with leading organic dairy, Aberystwyth based Rachel’s.
Rachel Rowlands, who founded the company with her husband Gareth, was named True Taste Ambassador at the inaugural Awards.
Said Rachel Rowlands, “The True Taste Awards are something very close to us, we have seen them grow to become among the most prized and prestigious food and drink awards in the UK; and I wish all this year’s winners every future success.
“Rachel’s itself has been fortunate to have received a number of trophies over the years, and being a True Taste winner has been an important quality indicator to our customers.
“An important facet of the awards over the years is that Wales has striven to create a brand that can be recognised not only by consumers but also by retailers. It demonstrates too that we in Wales are proud of what we have achieved, and look forward to building on that success.”
Among the evening’s top awards was the Product of the Year trophy, which went to Emma and Mark Baravelli for their tangy Lemon Marmalade with Brecon Welsh Gin.
The couple, who run The Little Deli in Llandudno, also received trophies for their Vanilla Salted Caramels, and their Raspberry Ripple Dairy Ice Cream.
The 2011-12 True Taste Champion is Conrad Davies, Managing Director of the Eurospar stores in Dolgellau and Blaenau Ffestiniog, and the Spar store in Pwllheli.
The fifth generation of his family to be involved in the retail trade, Conrad is an ardent supporter of local and Welsh produce and stocks a wide range of produce in his store.
This year’s Awards also coincide with the annual North Wales celebration of food and drink, Gwledd Conwy Feast (October 22/23), which is held in Conwy. For more information log on to: www.conwyfeast.co.uk
For a full list of 2011-12 winners please see the Notes to Editors section below or for more information about the Wales the True Taste Food and Drink Awards log on to: www.truetaste.tv or www.walesthetruetaste.co.uk