Top accolades for two Wexford businesses

By David tucker

Published 26/11/2016 | 00:00

Tony McGrath, Dalata Group, Clayton Whites parent company, with Peter O'Neill, Invotech.
Tony McGrath, Dalata Group, Clayton Whites parent company, with Peter O'Neill, Invotech.
At the National Seafood Awards (from left): Sofrimar's Leslie Bates, Lorcan Barden, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and Tara McCarthy, CEO of BIM.

TWO local businesses have won major national awards.

Clayton Whites Hotel in Wexford town has won the accolade of the overall Hotel Leisure Club of the Year at the 2016 Ireland Active Conference and White Flag National Quality Standard Awards, which took place at the Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone recently.

And Lorcan Barden and Leslie Bates of Kilmore Quay-based Sofrimar, have won the 'Seafood Enterprise of the Year Award' at the inaugural National Seafood Awards, organised by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

The Awards were organised by BIM to celebrate outstanding contributions in the areas of Skills, Sustainability, Innovation and Competitiveness in Ireland's €1 billion Seafood Sector which employs 11,000 people. Sofrimar was established in 1979 by three French people to harness the abundant supply of shellfish and whitefish in Ireland for export to France. In 2000, two Irishmen, Lorcan Barden and Leslie Bates acquired Sofrimar via a management buyout.

The company is a verified member of the Bord Bia Origin Green programme and has a dedicated Green Team in-house to manage all aspects of sustainability.

'The ocean holds the food of our future and therefore must be pro-actively managed,' says Lorcan Barden.

Meanhile, the hotels' White Flag National Quality Standard, grades facilities' operational standards, similar to the Blue Flag award which classifies Ireland's beaches, and it is the most sought after accolade in the leisure and fitness industry. It is the only industry specific award for the Irish leisure and fitness sector and this year saw over 100 entrants for the Awards, which were sponsored by Invotech.

The standard is based on the four essential areas when operating any leisure or fitness centre: Safety, Hygiene, Customer Engagement and HR. The standard is designed to encourage continuous improvement and it is categorised into three levels for the leisure and fitness sector: Gold, Silver and Bronze. Awards are also given for the hotel sector at two levels: Emerald and Diamond and an Accessibility Award is given for centres which excel at making their facilities accessible for people with a disability.

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