We received your nominations in the hundreds and contacted every producer to let them know they had been recommended by their customers – with the exception of a few errant suggestions, including a soap producer and a security company! Many of you got involved on social media, tagging your favourite producers and helping us spread the word. We also welcomed direct entries from producers and artisans who shared their stories on the passion and provenance behind their products.
When nominations and entries closed on 1 March the result was an impressive list of quality items and producers. The Artisan from the Earth category racked up the most products, including preserves and baked goods, while in the race of regions, the South West, Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands pipped London and the South East to the post with the highest number of entries.
This led to some long contents lists in the booklets compiled for our judging panels. These included all the information submitted by producers with their entry, such as images and their answer to the question, “Besides producing great food, tell us why you feel that your business deserves a delicious. award”.
At the end of March individual judging packs found their way to our 27 food experts in nine regions across the UK, who sat down together in teams of three to complete the hard job of assessing the entries and whittling down a shortlist of contenders.
A marking sheet was completed for each product, with judges paying close attention to the delicious. criteria based on passion, provenance and pricing. Back in the delicious. office these were carefully verified and the judges’ insightful comments recorded.
The shortlist of producers will be announced online on 25 May, and all entrants contacted individually with the results of regional judging. Shortlisted producers will then be invited to send a sample of their produce to be tasted by a panel of highly regarded judges at the delicious. Produce Awards national final in July.