NEIL Hamilton, UKIP Leader in Wales and AM for Mid & West Wales, has congratulated Welsh food and drink producers for their success in the nationally acclaimed Great Taste Awards.

Following more than 65 days of judging, the results of the world’s most coveted food awards, Great Taste, have been released, with many producers in Wales now celebrating.

Out of a record breaking 12,634 products to be judged in 2018, 4,653 were awarded a highly prized Great Taste accolade and a remarkable 177 are based in Wales.

Mr Hamilton, Party Spokesman for Culture, is a keen supporter of food and drink producers in Wales and regularly encourages people to buy Welsh products.

He said: “I was delighted to see so many producers from my Region taking part in the Great Taste and I warmly congratulate all those who were awarded stars, and especially those who gained the highest accolade.

“We all know that Welsh food and drink is of superlative quality and excellent taste and it is important the sector is recognised for this. Our food and drink businesses play a vital part in contributing to the Welsh economy.

“Well done to all the winners for their great achievement which shows what a fantastic spread of award winning products we have here in Wales.”

Among the producers who gained 3 stars in Mid and West Wales was the Coaltown Coffee Roasters, in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, for its Anthracite 2; Monty’s Brewery, Powys, with Monty’s Dark Secret; Fire and Ice, Narbeth, Pembrokeshire, with Blackcurrant Sorbet and Caws Teifi Cheese, Llandysul, Ceredigion, for Celtic Promise.

The panel of judges this year included; MasterChef 2018 champion, Kenny Tutt, chef and food writer, Elly Curshen, eco chef and food writer, Tom Hunt, author and chef, Zoe Adjonyoh, baker Tom Herbert, author and blogger, Izy Hossack, and baker and recipe writer, Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges and Sourced Market.

Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers and a record breaking 12,634 different products were entered in 2018. From this 3,254 were awarded 1-star, 1,207, 2-star and 192 awarded 3-stars.

While these producers revel in their success and begin displaying the unmistakable gold and black Great Taste logo, with 1-, 2- or 3- stars, on their award-winning products, they will wait with much anticipation to see if they also scoop the top awards for their region.

These final honours, including the Great Taste 2018 Supreme Champion, will be announced at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner on Sunday 2 September, to be held at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel, London.

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