Pembrokeshire growers Puffin Produce scooped two prizes at the inaugural Co-op Welsh Supplier Awards, held in Cardiff.
The veg producers picked up “Fresh Product of the Year” for its Blas y Tir Pembrokeshire Early Potatoes, which have Protected Geographical Indication from the EU. The growers were also crowned joint winner of the Welsh Supplier of the Year.
The event, announced for the first time in February, was hosted by Welsh TV and radio presenter Jason Mohammad with the awards designed to showcase Wales’ food and drink industry.
Puffin Produce managing director Huw Thomas said: “We’re thrilled to been recognised in such a way by Co-op at the first Welsh Supplier Awards. 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.”
He continued: “It’s becoming increasingly important to consumers that they know where their produce comes from, 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.”
Attendees at the event included Welsh National Assembly minister for environment, energy and rural affairs, Lesley Griffiths, chef Ellis Barrie on the judge’s panel, and Co-op head of local sourcing Simon Dryell.
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.”