Developed by BIM to support and champion retail and hospitality outlets that continually offer excellent quality seafood and service to their customers, the Seafood Circle plaque is presented to members on an annual basis and BIM encourages consumers to seek outlets with this badge of honour to be assured of the best seafood available.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Mr Simon Coveney TD congratulated all the members and Award-winners, stating, “It is testament to the dedication of each and every one of these businesses that despite the difficult economic climate, they are consistently improving what they do and achieving the exceptionally high standards set out under this initiative. I would encourage people to look out for the Seafood Circle plaque when buying seafood to support these local businesses”.
The stringent criteria that need to be met to gain membership extend well beyond providing the customer with excellent seafood. Outlets also have to demonstrate to independent assessors that they have superior knowledge of their product offering, have excellent customer service skills and comply with the strictest storage, handling and presentation requirements.
Donal Buckley, BIM’s Business Development and Innovation Manager, explained the rationale behind the Seafood Circle Initiative thus: “The Seafood Circle enables seafood retailers and hospitality businesses to constantly strive to offer their customers the best quality seafood available accompanied with knowledgeable customer service. We received a phenomenal amount of entries this year and this clearly demonstrates that Irish seafood businesses see the value of such a well-established scheme”.
BIM’s Seafood Chef of the Year award went to Head Chef Patricia O’Mahony from Mary Annn’s Bar & Restaurant, Castletownsend, Skibbereen, County Cork.