Food and drink producers from west Wales were among the cream of the crop at the prestigious Wales the True Taste awards held at Withybush showground in November.

Nearly 700 products were entered from 350 firms and organisations across Wales with Pembrokeshire producers bagging 18 awards between them – four gold, nine silver and five bronze.

The glittering awards, run by the Welsh Assembly Government, celebrate innovation, creativity and excellence in the food and drink and hospitality sector in Wales.

Around 500 guests attended the ceremony hosted by BBC broadcaster Jamie Owen in the transformed Birthdir Hall at the showground.

Earlier in the year judges had sampled all manner of produce from traditional meat, dairy and fish to baked goods, chocolate, soft fruit, mushrooms, herbs and tea to pick the winners.

Local gold award winners included Pembrokeshire Tea Company, of Nant y Coy; Capestone Organic Poultry, of Walwyns Castle; Claws Shellfish, of Hazelbeach, and Quayside Lawrenny.

Kate Morgan, food officer for Pembrokeshire County Council, said: “This is a truly outstanding achievement for local producers.”

Councillor John Davies, leader of the county council, who welcomed guests to the ceremony, said Pembrokeshire’s producers had excelled year after year.

He said: “You would expect no less from a county that is renowned for its rich heritage, its quilted landscape and its diversity of offering – be it the much acclaimed farmers market here in the county town, Pembrokeshire Produce Direct supplying the needs of the consumer in a 21st century fashion or indeed our annual Fish Week festival, where the fruits of the sea are enjoyed by thousands on their pilgrimage to Pembrokeshire.”

Caws Cenarth Cheese picked up the gold award in the organic category to maintain the incredible record of scooping a prize every year since the awards were launched in 2002.

The True Taste Champion award went to food writer and broadcaster Simon Wright of Camarthenshire restaurant Y Polyn.

Teifi Farmhouse Cheese, of Ffostrasol, near Llandysul, won the True Taste Product of the Year award for its Caws Teifi Cheese.