Tipperary Firm, Ribworld, Wins Export Innovation Of The Year Award

The Export Industry Awards 2017, the premier event recognising the remarkable achievements of companies working in the export industry in Ireland, took place on Friday, 17th November at the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road Dublin. 11 companies won individual category awards across a range of sectors. County Tipperary took home the award for Export Innovation of the Year going to Ribworld in Fethard.Kildare based Irish Dog Foods was crowned the overall Exporter of the Year Award 2017 after winning the Medium Size Exporter of the Year Award category earlier in the evening. Irish comedian Mario Rosenstock MC’d the black tie Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner which was well attended with nearly 550 export industry professionals. Other guests included Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, Minister of State at the Department of Education with special responsibility for Higher Education, representatives from over 25 Embassies, Secretary Generals and Awards sponsors.

Tipperary Firm, Ribworld, Wins Export Innovation Of The Year Award

Export Innovation of the Year 1: (L-R) Mario Rosenstock; Nicola Byrne, President, Irish Exporters Association; Marie Armstrong ‎Tax Partner, KPMG; Denis Kelly, International Commercial Director, RibWorld

Export Innovation of the Year winner, Ribworld is a family run plant based in Fethard, Co. Tipperary with a turnover of over €35m and 250 employees. The factory is one of the largest standalone sous vide EU approved in operation. They operate a full hazard analysis & critical control point (HAACP) system and hold the highest level, BRC grade AA+ accreditation for food production. They have developed and still produce the leading BBQ rib in the UK. The judges were particularly impressed with Ribworld’s very innovative and strategically driven competency with great potential for future growth.


Overall Exporter of the Year 2017, Irish Dog Foods is a pet food manufacturer in own-label and branded products for pet speciality retailers, wholesalers and discounters across the globe and have expanded their production facilities in Naas to over 220,000 sq feet increasing production capacity by 350% in 18 months. Irish Dog Foods recognised that the key to the success of its growth strategy was to concentrate on growing their export markets. The company was and continues to be a key supplier to many retailers who have a presence in multiple-markets. Based on their record of service, quality and value they have been able to open new markets with these customers one region after the other.

Speaking at the Awards Ceremony, Nicola Byrne, President of the Irish Exporters Association said: “The Export Industry Awards began in 2001 and has gained momentum year on year. The 2017 Awards has seen the biggest and the most competitive year yet with more unique applications than ever before. Our Independent Judging Panel was particularly impressed with the competitiveness of the applications and the international opportunities companies from Ireland are winning.

We are delighted to announce Irish Dog Foods as the winner of the Overall Exporter of the Year 2017. The judges found Irish Dog Foods had an impressive innovation and growth strategy. They displayed a customer focused approach with a wide range of products and markets. Their focus on design thinking and innovation is unique in pet food manufacturing and their long term sustainability is based on bringing innovation to their customers coupled with a very real passion and love of dogs.”

The Export Industry Awards 2017 is supported by a number of corporate and industry sponsors. Platinum Sponsors: Bank of Ireland, Etihad Airways, KPMG, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business and supportive Category sponsors Bord Bia, Dixon International Logistics, Enterprise Ireland, Facebook, GS1 Ireland, Irish Maritime Development Office and media partner The Times.

2017 Export Industry Award Categories & Winners

Exporter of The Year 2017 sponsored by Etihad Airways
Winner: Irish Dog Foods, Kildare

Medium Size Exporter of the Year Award, sponsored by Bank of Ireland
Winner: Irish Dog Foods, Kildare
Shortlisted: Abcon Industrial Products Ltd, Cavan; BHSL Hydro, Limerick; CupPrint, Clare; eShopWorld, Dublin; Trend Technologies, Westmeath

Export Innovation of the Year Award, sponsored by KPMG
Winner: Ribworld, Tipperary
Shortlisted: Aalto Bio Reagents, Dublin; Abcon Industrial Products Ltd, Cavan; Combilift, Monaghan; Crospon, Galway; Global Shares, Cork; Medentech, Wexford; Ventac, Wicklow

Services Exporter of the Year sponsored by UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School
Winner: Ventac, Wicklow
Shortlisted: Adams & Butler,Dublin; Deinternational, Dublin; Digisoft, Cork; Elavon Freight Payment, Dublin; Eolas International Ltd, Cork; TradeCert, Galway; UrbanVolt, Dublin

Food & Drink Exporter of the Year, sponsored by Bord Bia
Winner: Irish Distillers, Dublin
Shortlisted: Dawn Farms, Kildare; Good4U, Sligo; Ornua Co-operative Limited, Dublin; Ribworld, Tipperary; Silver Hill Farm, Monaghan; Swift Fine Foods, Monaghan; The Little Milk Co, Waterford

Life Sciences Exporter of the Year, sponsored by Dixon International Logistics
Winner: Sanofi Waterford, Waterford
Shortlisted: Aalto Bio Reagents, Dublin; CLIRIINX – Clinical Research IT, Dublin; Crospon, Galway; Diaceutics, Louth; Moll Industries Ireland Ltd, Donegal; PolyPico Technologies, Galway; Trend Technologies,Westmeath

High Potential Exporter Award, sponsored by Enterprise Ireland
Winner: Broderick’s Brothers, Dublin
Shortlisted: Adams & Butler, Dublin; Aphix Software, Louth; Joulica, Galway; LearnUpon Limited, Dublin; Nutritics, Dublin; STAYHOLD Ltd, Dublin; Vision Built Manufacturing Ltd, Galway

Small & Emerging Exporter of the Year, sponsored by Facebook
Winner: Diaceutics, Louth
Shortlisted: BFree Foods LTD, Dublin; HealthBeacon, Dublin; HTE Engineering Services, Meath; The Handmade Soap Company, Meath; The Little Milk Co, Waterford; The Packaging Hub Ireland Limited, Waterford;Ventac, Wicklow

Multinational Exporter of the Year, sponsored by GS1 Ireland
Winner: Bausch + Lomb Ireland, Waterford
Shortlisted: Irish Distillers, Dublin; Portwest, Mayo; Sanofi Waterford, Waterford

Maritime Services Company of the Year, sponsored by the Irish Maritime Development Office
Winner: Irish Continental Group, Container & Terminal Division

Technology Exporter of the Year
Winner: eShopWorld, Dublin
Shortlisted: Ding, Dublin; Exaxe, Dublin; Excelsys Technologies Limited, Cork; LearnUpon Limited, Dublin; Scurri, Wexford; Smarttech247, Cork; TransferMate, Kilkenny

Logistics & Supply Chain Company of the Year
Winner: Dixon International Logistics, Dublin
Shortlisted: Kuehne + Nagel, Dublin; McArdle Skeath, Louth ; Nolan Transport, Wexford ; O’Leary InternationalULC, Wexford; Post Logistics, Dublin; TradeCert, Galway

2017 Export Industry Awards Independent Judging Panel

Chairperson: Pat Higgins, Head of Business Development, Queally Group
Independent Observer: Bebhinn Behan, Innovation Manager, KPMG

Group A: Services, Export Innovation, Technology

  • Elaine Coughlan, Managing Partner, Dublin, Atlantic Bridge
  • Mary Lambkin-Coyle, Professor of Marketing, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School
  • Siobhan McManamy, Director of Markets, Tourism Ireland
  • Padraic White, Chairman, Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services


Group B: High Potential, Medium Size, Small & Emerging, Food & Drink

  • Kieran Comerford, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office
  • Eugene Forde, Principal, Indigenous Enterprise Development, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
  • Margaret Hearty, InterTradeIreland, Director of Programmes and Business Services
  • Breege O’Donoghue, Chair, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland


Group C: Logistics, Life Sciences, Multinational, Maritime Services

  • David Brophy, Partner & Patent Attorney, FR Kelly
  • Tommy Fanning, Head of Biopharmaceuticals & Food, IDA Ireland
  • Jim Gannon, Chief Executive, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
  • Howard Knott, Logistics Consultant

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