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The launch of the 14th World’s Original Marmalade Awards and the inaugural Japanese Marmalade Awards took place on 17thJanuary at the Embassy of Japan, in the presence of His Excellency Ambassador Mr Koji Tsuruoka and Awards founder Jane Hasell-McCosh.

The Marmalade Awards have attracted visitors and entries from all over the world, including Botswana, Japan and Australia, with entrants united by their love of marmalade and citrus. The enthusiasm of Japanese entrants is such that the first ever Japanese Marmalade Awards & Festival will be taking place in May 2019, in the city of Yawatahama. The Mayor of Yawatahama attended the launch to speak about this event, which is to be a national sister Festival to the World’s Original Marmalade Awards & Festival, which takes place annually at Dalemain Mansion, Cumbria.

With the event celebrating marmalade inspired friendship between the UK and Japan, fusion canapés were the dish of the day! These included marmalade sushi rice puddings and tonkatsu pork skewers served with Oxford marmalade, alongside Cumberland sausages and traditional sushi. Guests were also offered a delicious ‘Yawatahama slammer’ cocktail with sake and lime marmalade.

His Excellency and the Mayor of Yawatahama both spoke of their excitement for the Japanese Marmalade Awards, which they hope will foster enduring friendships, as well as introducing new visitors to Japan and the Yawatahama region, which is famous for its citrus industry. Jane Hasell-McCosh was also keen to discuss the importance of citrus growing and small producers, and each guest to the Embassy was gifted with an organic Ave Maria Seville orange, and a pot of Dalefoot compost. This compost is made from bracken and wool from the Dalemain Estate, meaning that those who succeed in growing a Seville plant from the seeds of their gift will harvest fruit that is firmly rooted in Cumbria!

Shuichi Matsumoto, Agricultural Counsellor said: “We were very pleased to have the opportunity to host this reception. Building on Ambassador Tsuruoka’s visit in 2017, we have been supporting the relationship between Yawatahama City and Dalemain. We are happy to see that our support has contributed to their blossoming friendship. We would like to thank all those who attended the reception, and wish that all can participate in these festivals and see their growing success.”

Local primary school Stainton School sent 12 pupils to the Embassy of Japan to sing the ‘Marmalade Song’, which opens the Festival at Dalemain each year. This was a wonderful opportunity for the students, many of whom had never been to London before.

Fortnum & Mason, who are headline sponsors of the Dalemain Marmalade Awards, were announced at the reception as the Double Gold sponsors of the Japanese Marmalade Awards. They will be involved in selecting the Japanese winner, which will be sold across both across Japan and at Fortnum & Mason in their famous Piccadilly store.

Lucy Williams, Commercial Director at Fortnum & Mason said: “Fortnum & Mason is proud to once again sponsor the Homemade and Artisan categories of the Dalemain Awards, and look forward to welcoming another winning recipe into our range this March. We are also excited to support the Japanese Marmalade Awards – proof that not only has Dalemain been instrumental in preserving the heritage of marmalade making in the UK, but in encouraging individuals around the world to discover its many joys.”

The 2019 World’s Original Marmalade Awards are now open and entries are already coming in from all over the world. New categories include the Thursday Cottage Commonwealth Competition, which is open to entrants from any of the 53 member countries.

Donna Smith, director of Thursday Cottage said: “We are delighted to be part of the World Marmalade Awards where we will be sponsoring a very special category: Thursday Cottage Commonwealth Marmalade. This will be an opportunity for marmalade makers from Commonwealth countries in parts of: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Pacific regions to submit their entries; there may be some exotic flavours!”

The 2019 Marmalade Awards & Festival will take place at Dalemain Mansion on Saturday 16th March, where the winners will be announced. The Japanese Marmalade Awards will take place in Yawatahama, Ehime 12th – 19th May 2019.