The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs has praised the impact of the Welsh Government-backed Welsh Seafood Cluster after four of its members received prestigious Great Taste Awards.
Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, is the acknowledged benchmark for fine food and drink. It has often been described as the ‘Oscars’ of the food world. This year, Welsh sauces, sea salt and, for the first time ever, Welsh shellfish all made the shortlist of producers who have received 3 stars, 2 stars and 1 star.
Cardigan Bay Seafood led the way, winning three awards, including two stars for their dressed crab and potted crab and a prestigious one star for their mackerel pate.
Anglesey sea salt company Halen Mon also won three awards with two stars for its Pure Sea Salt and a star each for its Vanilla Sea Salt and Umami Sea Salt products, whilst the island’s Dylan’s restaurant won two single star awards for its Salted Butterscotch Sauce and Thai Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce.
Meanwhile, Pembrokeshire Beach Food bagged a one star award for its Dulse Sea Herbs range.
All four successful producers are important members of the Welsh Seafood Cluster. Backed by the Welsh Government, the Cluster brings together ambitious Welsh fisheries businesses, enabling them to share best practice, receive expert advice and support to help them create jobs and achieve sustainable growth.
Lesley Griffiths said:
“Wales’ seafood is an important part of our Food and Drink offer. We have big plans to grow the sector by 30% by 2020 and our seafood producers will play a key role in helping us achieve this ambitious target.
“It is great news four of our Welsh Seafood Cluster members have been successful at the “Food Oscars”. This demonstrates our approach in developing and supporting Clusters is paying dividends. I would like to offer my personal congratulations to the four seafood producers along with all of our other wonderful food and drink products that have been recognised.
“As we try to attract new markets overseas this offers further proof that here in Wales we are forging a reputation for unique food and drink of the very highest quality.”
Seafood Cluster manager Caroline Dawson said:
“A huge congratulations to the Seafood Cluster members for their Great Taste Awards, a wonderful achievement. I have been fortunate enough to sample the products and they are certainly award worthy and an inspiration to the industry.”
Mandy Walters from Cardigan Bay Fish said:
"Who'd have thought it - a little Cardigan company winning a Great Taste Award, completely overwhelmed and still in shock. After attending a workshop organised through the seafood cluster I tried my luck and entered three products, I defied all odds and came home with three awards. I'm looking forward to seeing the stickers on my products."