Bantry Bay Premium Seafood has been announced as winner of the 2022 Blas na hEireann Seafood Innovation Award.
The award category was sponsored by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s seafood development agency.
The annual event, which was held in Dingle, is aimed at recognising quality Irish produce, and has been running for the last 15 years.
The award winner, Bantry Bay Premium Seafood, is a family run seafood processing business that was established in 1991.
It processes mussels sourced from its own farms in Bantry Bay.
Much of the company’s success owes to its consistent focus on provenance and innovation.
The company has established a strong customer base in retail, foodservice and industrial markets in Ireland and overseas, developing new markets in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Bantry Bay Premium Seafood currently produces more than 2000 tonnes of Irish mussels annually.
Damian Connolly, the operations manager at Bantry Bay Premium Seafoods, spoke of his and the wider team’s delight at having received the award.
‘We are honoured,’ he said, ‘to receive this award and I would like to take the opportunity to thank the team in Bantry Bay who have worked so hard and to BIM who have worked closely with us and been hugely supportive of our business.
‘At Bantry Bay we strive to continuously improve all areas of the business to ensure sustainability and innovation is at the forefront of everything that we do,’ he added.
BIM’s Seafood Innovation Hub, which is based in Clonakilty, has supported the team at Bantry Bay Mussels with their business development in areas including sauce development, shelf-life analysis and trialling of packaging equipment for process optimisation.
Paul Ward, manager of BIM’s Seafood Innovation Hub explained the need for innovation throughout the seafood supply chain.
‘Our focus with clients is to look at all areas of their operations, across the supply chain,’ he said. ‘This approach is vital if they are to remain competitive.
‘Bantry Bay Mussels have innovated throughout their supply chain from their raw material supply security to innovative changes within their operations, including product and process developments.
‘Today, innovation and sustainability go hand in hand. This means food businesses need to develop innovation and sustainability roadmaps to help highlight the importance of food systems in climate adaptation strategies.’