Company’s success is written in the stars

DROMARA’s Abernethy Butter Company was one of 46 food and drink producers who between them racked up a record 195 gold stars for quality products in this year’s UK Great Taste Awards,

Will and Allison Abernethy started making their own butter as a hobby in the year 2000, turning their pastime into a business with the launch of the Abernethy Butter Company in 2005.

The company was awarded two Gold Stars for its hand-churned butter, which Will and Allison produce, along with hand-made fudge, at their farm outside Dromara.

The award is the lastest in a series of honours for the couple, who only last month celebrated a bronze award in their first outing in the dairy produce competition at Edinburgh’s Royal Highland Show - hailed one of the biggest events in the agricultural calendar - where they were the only Northern Irish butter producers taking part.

Will and Allison have seen their business grow steadily in recent years and now supply more than 60 shops and various restaurants across Northern Ireland.

They make hundreds of rolls of butter by hand each day and also use their butter to produce award-winning fudge, recipient of a Gold Star at last summer’s Great Taste Awards.

Also among the star performers at this year’s Great Taste Awards was Quail’s Deli, Banbridge, picking up two stars for their chicken liver and shallot parfait and another for a gammon joint produced from their own recipe with Farm Quality Assured Irish pork.

Invest Northern Ireland Chief Executive, Alastair Hamilton, congratulated all the winners.

“The awards for quality and innovation just keep coming for our food and drink,” he said. “The record number of gold stars won last year has been easily surpassed in 2012/13.”

Mr. Hamilton said Northern Ireland could justifiably claim to have some of the very best food and drink products available anywhere in the United Kingdom and Ireland.”

Organised by the UK Guild of Fine Food, The Great Taste Awards this year attracted more than 8,800 entries from companies throughout the UK and Ireland and further afield.

Judges included Masterchef winner and restaurateur Matt Follas, restaurant critic Charles Campion and food writers Lucas Hollweg and Xanthe Clay as well as more than 300 food buyers from leading food halls, delicatessens and farm shops across the country.