Time running out for meat producers to enter Welsh food and drink awards

MEAT PRODUCERS across Wales have just days to enter this year's True Taste Wales Food & Drink Awards with applications due in on 30 June.

The message from the Welsh Assembly, organisers of the event, is that companies must 'be in it, to win it'.

There are nine award categories, including Best Organic Product, Manufacturer of the Year and Eating Out in Wales.

Last year, the awards, which are regarded as the highest honour in the Welsh food and drink industry, notched up almost 200 entries with more than 500 products judged and 37 finalists receiving gold, silver, bronze and highly commended awards.

Previous winners are also encouraging companies to enter. Andrew Eastwood, of Yerbeston Gate Farm Shop in Pembrokeshire, which received a Gold award in last year's Producer category for its Welsh Black Beef Fillet Steak, said: "The publicity generated by being a True Taste winner has been very, very beneficial to our business, and we are launching a mail order service. In particular the national publicity we have received in publications such as the Mail On Sunday and the BBC Good Food Magazine has generated enquiries and sales."

Entry forms are available by calling 0800 085 3663, emailing truetaste@quadrant.uk.com or can be completed online at www.walesthetruetaste.com. Winners will be announced at the awards' ceremony on 23 November, 2006, at the National Cricket Centre, Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.