Juvela recently sponsored the Irish FreeFrom Food Awards!
Pictured are John Burke, FreeFrom Food Awards Ireland, Jennifer Morrow, Coeliac Society of Ireland, Orla Kieran, Juvela, Harriette Lynch, healthpro.ie, Emma Clarke Conway, FreeFrom Food Awards Ireland and front, Lucy Hutchinson, Kids’ Judge and coeliac at The Grand Hotel, Malahide, Co. Dublin, launching the FreeFrom Food Awards Ireland Judging 2019.
Judging sessions take place over two weeks in March from 12th to 25th March, with more than 40 judges who will taste and select the worthy winners of more than 40 categories.
“This is our fourth year of the Awards in Ireland and we are proud to have maintained and even exceeded our growth with approximately 500 products entered in 2019,” says FreeFrom Food Awards Ireland founder, John Burke. “Our judges are key to our success. With varying backgrounds, from chefs to foodies, dietitians, nutritionists, bloggers, coeliacs, parents of coeliacs, dairy free and vegan judges – plus the all-important Kids’ Judging panel, who are among the most discerning. Debate is integral and every voice is valued.”
Lucy Hutchinson is the ever first Chair of the Kids’ Judging Panel, diagnosed coeliac since she was a toddler. Lucy says, “Being involved as a Kid Judge shows that the FFFAI values children’s opinions and listens to their suggestions. I am proud to be part of an organisation that is encouraging manufacturers to improve the quality and standards of gluten free foods in Ireland.”
Lucy, who is 13, believes that the Kids’ Choice category is so important, to help normalise life around food for freefrom kids. “There is an emotional side and you can feel different,” she says of being coeliac. “Personally I am very honoured to be included to represent and advocate for young coeliacs and newly diagnosed kids with freefrom needs. I am glad that through the Awards, we can show the world what foods out there that I can have, that other kids can also have and not know or care that it’s different or freefrom.”
Sponsor of the Special Services to the Industry Awards, Juvela’s Orla Kieran, says, “Juvela are delighted to continue our association with the fourth FreeFrom Food Awards Ireland. Our sponsorship of the award for Services to the Industry allows us to highlight the input and dedication of people in the FreeFrom arena, where we ourselves are a stalwart brand for over 25 years.”
The Coeliac Society of Ireland’s Jennifer Morrow says, “The Society is really happy to be involved in FFFAI. It’s important for these food producers to be recognised and awarded for producing great tasting freefrom foods. Anybody on a restricted diet knows the challenges in finding everyday foods that taste good. Our members especially love finding out about new gluten free products, as a gluten free diet is the only medicine for somebody with coeliac disease.”
Consultant Dietitian with healthpro.ie, Harriette Lynch says, “Our team are delighted to be involved with supporting the Awards as these are essential for encouraging more food producers to create tasty and palatable foods for those who have allergies or intolerances. For years it has been extremely challenging for people like our clients to have tasty alternatives to suit their dietary requirements. Now as more food producers are becoming involved the options are growing for our clients, which is making balanced eating so much easier”.
“We encourage all of our Judges to champion the products, within the debate as to who gets the Award and as consumers of the very products that may take a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Merit badge,” explains John Burke. “The Judges have to feel passionate that the entry deserves the Award and that they can stand over that decision.”
Over the four years of the Awards, innovation, development and quality has continued to wow the panels, as the freefrom industry goes from strength to strength. The Team behind the process are coeliacs with many years’ experience in the gluten-free and freefrom community and that practical understanding of the issues faced by freefrom consumers, ensures that at the heart of the Awards is integrity and safety.
The Awards will be announced at a Gala Presentation at the Grand Hotel, Malahide on Friday 10th May, in this highlight event for the freefrom industry. Coveted Awards are Product of the Year, Product Range of the Year, Innovation, Special Services to the Industry, Parent’s Choice and Kids’ Choice.
The FreeFrom Food Awards are Ireland’s only awards dedicated to the freefrom sector and are open to entrants from across the 32 counties. These awards not only encourage the ongoing growth and innovation in the sector, but also demonstrate the quality in this area, which is a huge bonus for those consumers who must shop in the freefrom aisles.