Irish Organic Awards 2016

The closing date for the National Organic Awards 2016 is this Friday, 9th September 2016.

The awards are free to enter and include seven categories:

1. Best Fresh Product
2. Best Prepared Product
3. Best New Product
4. Export Award
5. Innovation Award
6. Direct Selling Award
7. Chefs’ Choice Award – New for 2016!

Entries will be accepted until 5pm on Friday 9th September 2016 For more information and to access the application form, please go to


  • Tailored branding project worth €30,000 for award winners (in late 2016/early 2017)
  • All shortlisted companies in each category will be promoted by Bord Bia in print, broadcast and online media
  • Awards helpful in securing new trade listings and ongoing media attention
  • On-pack promotion opportunity for award-winners


Download the National Organic Awards application form. 


FACEnetwork’s VIDEO CONTEST 2016

Have you recently started farmhouse cheesemaking? Are you a passionate dairy start-up? Would you like to win a 3-day professional cheesemaking course at the School of Artisan Food near Nottingham?  Well then this is for you!

This competition, run by FACE Network, aims to highlight the current reality and diversity of the traditional dairy sector of Europe, through the eyes of people who are recent entrants to the sector.  It is open to any cheese and dairy producer/worker in the first 5 years of activity aged 18 years or older.

Full details are available on

The competition began on May 15th and will end on September 15th, 2016.

Videos must be submitted by September 15th at the latest and only one video may be accepted per person.  Best of luck to all!!

New Postgraduate Certificate in Dairy Technology & Innovation

University College Cork (UCC), in association with Teagasc, has developed a part-time, blended-learning Postgraduate Certificate in Dairy Technology and Innovation.  This level 9 qualification is part-time and is tailored to dairy industry needs and delivered online and by block-release to suit the seasonal nature of the dairy industry. The programme runs from September – December and January-March.


Further details on 

Invitation -Taste Council of Ireland Food Summer School, 22 August 2016

image001The TASTE Council of Ireland is a voluntary representative group of the smaller food business sector made up largely of local, artisan and speciality food producers. Its remit is solely focused on Irish Artisan and Speciality Food Producers.

The sixth annual TASTE Council Food Summer School will take place on Monday the 22nd of August (09.30-18.00) at BrookLodge in Co. Wicklow. We are now accepting registrations for this event via this link.

Organised in association with Bord Bia, the Food Summer School 2016 will explore the Speciality & Artisan food sector’s role in the protection and development of rural Irish communities. We will look at how this sector, in partnership with the tourism sector and our farming community, can play a vital role in sustainable and flourishing rural economies and communities.

The day will begin with a look at the Achill Island Food and Tourism community. With the help of key members of this community, we will explore the successes and challenges to creating a sustainable food community. We will then bring together key stakeholders in the Irish food, agriculture and tourism sectors along with experts in rural development. Together these will examine the current status within Irish rural communities and the interplay between food production, tourism and the sustainable development of these communities. Pathways to best create a more vibrant and mutually beneficial environment for rural development and growth will be articulated as a result of this session.

After lunch we will facilitate round table discussions between all delegates in order to prioritise actions together and key areas to focus our influence.

It is hoped that the day will point to a new direction where food production, including the farming and fishing communities, can be at the centre of rural development policy.

The Summer School also provides an excellent forum for small food businesses to network with fellow producers and stakeholders in the sector. The Brook Lodge will present both lunch and dinner reflecting the ethos and quality of the best of Irish artisan and farmhouse food in an atmosphere of conviviality. (Note: The Harvest Dinner is optional, with drinks from 18.30 and dinner served from 19.30)

We look forward to welcoming you to what is sure to be an informative and productive day.

Yours sincerely,


Kevin Sheridan
Chair, TASTE Council,
(Sheridans Cheesemongers, An Cais, SlowFood Ireland)



Evan Doyle
Vice-Chair, TASTE Council,
(The BrookLodge Hotel, SlowFood Ireland, Eurotoques, The Organic Trust)
The TASTE Council of Ireland


World Cheese Awards 2016

In 2016, the Guild of Fine Food are taking the World Cheese Awards to San Sebastián – the European Capital of Culture 2016 – in the Basque region of Spain, where it will form a key part of the International Cheese Festival, organised by Artzai Gatza and supported by the Basque Country Government.

World Cheese Awards – Important dates:

  • 17th Aug – World Cheese Awards 2016 Open for entries
  • 11th Oct – World Cheese Awards 2016 Closed for entry
  • 16th Nov – World Cheese Awards 2016 judging, Kursaal, San Sebastián

The entry details are available on the World Cheese Awards website.

The Future is Food – Transition Year Unit

‘The Future is Food’ was developed by the Taste Council in collaboration with Bord Bia, designed by educators and is recognised by the NCCA (National Council for Curriculum & Assessment).

It was initially designed as a Mini Company Unit for Transition Year, however, many teachers also feel that it works for other year groups as it develops skills such as team work, communication, decision making and leadership (the potential to evolve outside of this target will be examined for the academic year 2016- 17).

A core element of the programme is that schools will be matched with a local food producer or food professional, who will act as a mentor for the students, and this is why we are seeking regional mentors.

A school visit will be arranged where you will share your experiences and give advice to students on their food project. A visit to your premises may also be organised as part of the programme if this suits both the school and your business.

Read more and register your interest on–transition-year-unit.html

Cheese Science & Technology Training Course

Cheese Science and Technology Training Course
3 – 5 February 2016
University College Cork

This intensive three-day course will provide participants with knowledge of the principles of the science of cheese manufacture and ripening in addition to covering yield efficiency, processed cheese, cheese as an ingredient, and the acceleration and control of ripening. This course will span the range from introductory to advanced topics. There will be ample opportunity for personal contact with the trainers and industry colleagues.

Who should attend?
• Cheese manufacturers
• Quality personnel
• Research and development personnel
• Food graduates who need a refresher course
Some knowledge of food science would be beneficial.

Course Fee
The cost of the course is €795 which includes tuition, course manual, lunches, refreshment breaks, a class photograph and a Certificate of Attendance. This course may be part-funded for eligible applicants.

Course Programme
The topics covered in this course will include the following:
• Cheese as a product
• Diversity of cheese
• Dairy chemistry – casein, whey proteins, fat
• Milk pre-treatment
• Rennet gelation, syneresis
• Starters and acidification
• Cutting, cooking, whey drainage
• Curd Treatment
• Ripening; overview and control, microbiology
• Metabolism of lactose, lactate, citrate
• Lipolysis
• Proteolysis
• Amino acid catabolism
• Acceleration and control of ripening
• Yield efficiency
• Processed cheese
• Cheese as an Ingredient

For further information and registration please contact:
Dr Angela Sheehan
Food Industry Training Unit
College of Science, Engineering and Food Science
University College Cork
Telephone: 353 21 4901423
Web Site: 
Food Industry Training Unit
University College Cork


Cheese Institute Fundamentals


Cheese Institute Fundamentals is a new 10 month programme designed by by Bord Bia & Teagasc Moorepark in partnership with industry. The programme content includes both technical and marketing modules which are aimed specifically and farmhouse cheesemakers.

Cheese Institute Fundamentals is designed to bridge the gap between starting your farmhouse cheese business and scaling for export. Designed in partnership with industry, Cheese Institute Fundamentals will address the key production, process, control issues, along with marketing and business development challenges faced by farmhouse cheesemakers.

Cheese Institute Fundamentals Dates:

  1. November 17th 2015
  2. December 15th 2015: marketing
  3. January 12th 2016: technical
  4. January 19th 2016: marketing
  5. February 2nd 2016: technical
  6. February 16th 2016: technical
  7. March 8th 2016: marketing
  8. March 22nd 2016: marketing
  9. April 19th 2016: technical
  10. May 17th 2016: marketing
  11. June 21st 2016: technical
  12. July 19th 2016: wrap-up

Fee: €500 + VAT (€615)

For further information on the programme, contact or tel 01 6142267.