`Marketing Oscars' Launched!

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COMPANIES within the agri-food sector in Northern Ireland are once again to be rewarded for their efforts in applying strategic marketing principles as this year's prestigious CIM NI Marketing Awards take off for the third year.

Organised to commend businesses Province-wide for their commitment to the innovative use of marketing techniques, the awards continue to recognise the tremendous work being done by companies in the agri-food sector to compete in an ever-changing environment.

Launching the awards Mark Durkin, CIM NI chairman, said: "Marketing is the central driver of business success. To reap the rewards that successful marketing can bring, organisations must be ready and willing to integrate new concepts and technologies into their core marketing activities.

"The CIM recognises that tremendous work is being done by Northern Ireland businesses in competing in a fast-moving global marketplace.

"We want to pay tribute to their efforts and showcase them as examples of marketing best practice.''

Referring specifically to the Agri-Food Strategic Marketing Award, Mr Durkin said: "The agri-food sector, perhaps more than any other, has suffered serious setbacks over recent years and is now faced with the detrimental consequences of Foot-and-Mouth Disease. The CIM is aware of the many difficulties faced by agri-food companies now and in the past, which is why we want to publicly commend them for their marketing endeavours.''

Year-on-year, the CIM NI Marketing Awards continue to attract a growing level of interest from the wider business community.

Giving their backing to the Agri-Food Strategic Marketing Award since its inception in 1999, Roy McClenaghan, of DARD, said: "Our business in the Agri-Food Development Service is to ensure that people in the industry have the skills, knowledge and experiences that will help the agri-food sector remain competitive. …