K&G McAtamney, the Ballymena based father and son butchers, have taken home the Overall Supplier of the Year award at the annual Henderson Wholesale Fresh Innovation Awards 2019.

The awards took place today (Friday 17 May) for the seventh year at The Balmoral Show, with K&G McAtamney also taking home the Own Brand Supplier of the Year award for their contribution of over 85 products to Henderson’s enjoy local, The Kitchen and the exclusive for SPAR and EUROSPAR products under the K&G McAtamney brand.

The exclusive K&G McAtamney fresh butchery products includes pre-packed beef, pork and chicken products and are available in 45 stores in Northern Ireland.

The company has experienced incredible growth since partnering with Henderson Wholesale in 2013 creating 38 new jobs locally. The speciality producers also supply to other SPAR wholesalers in England and Wales, thanks to their relationship with SPAR NI, and now supply 80% of their fresh meat, creating a further 12 local jobs in the process.

Neal Kelly, Fresh Foods Director at Henderson Wholesale said the company were displaying everything that is great about local food producers, farmers and growers in Northern Ireland;

“K&G McAtamney are very worthy winners of their awards today. The innovation they have displayed to create products for our own brand ranges, as well as our exclusive partnership brand of joints, steaks and fresh meat cuts is second to none. The fact that other SPAR partners in England have decided to source their meat from a Northern Ireland producer says so much about the thriving industry here.”

Other winners at the awards and breakfast included Gilfresh for their CSR and sustainability programmes in the Tomorrow Matters award, Hovis for Excellence in Regional Delivery and Cloughbane Farm Foods for Excellence in Product Innovation.

Ross Irwin continued Irwin Bakery’s winning legacy from 2018 after his Uncle Brian took home the Outstanding Achievement to the Agri-Food Industry award, by being named Young Agri-Food Innovator for 2019, and Richardson’s Quality Butchers in EUROSPAR Lagan Valley were named In-Store Butcher of the Year. (Full list of highly commended and winners in notes to editors.)

The awards took place on the penultimate day of The Balmoral Show, the heart of the agri-food and business community in Northern Ireland, of which SPAR is a platinum sponsor.

Paddy Doody, Sales & Marketing Director at Henderson Group says it is important for them as a local company to support local farmers and growers; “Being at the Balmoral Show is hugely important to us as a brand and as a company; we get essential face time with those at the front line of the industry, which gives us a chance to provide even more innovative and value products for our shoppers.

“Local is an important and consistent message which runs throughout our company and we intend to continue growing our local credentials and ensure we’re delivering a provenance promise to every local community.”

The Henderson Wholesale Fresh Innovation Awards were independently scrutinised by a panel of experienced judges including food writer Sam Butler, Head of Food Technology at CAFRE, Joy Alexander; Irish News Business Editor Gary McDonald and Dr Lynsey Hollywood, Ulster University Business School’s Agri-Food Business Development Centre Manager. Michele Shirlow MBE, CEO of Food NI also joined the panel for the first time this year.

The Balmoral Show continues for its final day tomorrow (Saturday 18 May) and SPAR has a host of entertainment and activities planned to go out with bang.

For more information about the Henderson Group, its companies and brands, visit www.henderson-group.com.