Northern Irish butcher scoops European sausage title

A Northern Irish butcher’s has won a European competition with its products at the Sausage Awards in Normandy, France.

O’Kane Meats, based at Claudy in Co Derry, won Champion of Britain and Ireland category in the annual competition, becoming the first Northern Ireland butchery business to do so. The butcher’s then went on to win the excellence award for its chicken and smoked bacon sausage in the European Creative Sausage category, as well as the top award for its grilled Irish pork sausage.

Michael O’Kane said: “We’re really delighted to have won two very prestigious awards which recognise quality and innovation.

“We’ve been in business since 1989 and have won more than 100 product awards, including Irish trophies for our sausages. Winning this award in the face of such intense competition is a marvellous achievement for the entire team at O’Kane Meats.

“We had heard about the awards over the years and decided to put forward some products to see how they would get on with this expert judging panel.”

The competition featured sausage-makers and charcuterie specialists from all around Europe, and was organised by the Commanderie des Fins Goustiers du Duché d’Alençon. It was launched in 1973 to help promote local food producers in Normandy, before being expanded to focus on artisan and small producers of meat and sausages across Europe.

Two other Northern Irish butcher’s businesses also picked up awards: Clogher Valley Meats, Clogher, Co Tyrone –- winners of Meat Trades Journal Northern Irish Butcher’s Shop of the Year – and McAtamney Butchers in Ballymena, Co Antrim, in both the creative sausage and grilled pork sausages categories.

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