Calling all beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, pickles, preserves, spirits and new this year, confections crafters! The Good Food Awards has launched its third annual call for entries to American food producers–I’m looking at you!
A blind tasting with Alice Waters, Nell Newman and 130 other judges (including myself and Anthea, our cheese buyer) will determine who is recognized as the Good Food Award winners of 2013. The catch: everything must be produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. The short online entry form and sustainability criteria are available here. The entry fee is $50, which goes to cover the sorting, storing and transporting of an anticipated 1,000 entries.
All winners are honored at a gala awards ceremony with Alice Waters on January 18th, invited to sell their wares at the 15,000 person Good Food Awards Marketplace on January 19th, and can proudly display the Good Food Awards Seal all year long. Many of last year’s 99 winners also received special placements in Whole Foods Market, Williams Sonoma stores nationwide and independent grocers like ourselves (we’ve carried Emmy’s Pickles and Jams’ Turmeric Cauliflower, Chez Pim’s berry jams, and many more)! Many of the winners were covered in the San Francisco Chronicle, Atlantic Monthly, Washington Post and New York Times. Last year’s winners reported an increase in annual sales that is a strong signal of support for smaller scale food businesses across the country; together they bought about an estimated $800,000 worth of ingredients from sustainable farms, proof of the effect of their combined purchasing power.
This year I’m extra excited about a new trade association that’s being formed alongside the awards: the Good Food Merchants Guild. Led by the values of transparency, innovation and responsible production, the Merchants Guild is at the frontier of America’s food movement. We’ve signed on as a Founders Circle member of the Guild, because we think it’s so important to find ways to unite, distinguish and connect Good Food businesses across the country. I’ve served as an adviser for the Guild in its start-up phase, and I think the influence of this organization could be huge.
The deadline for submission for a good food award is August 31: enter online at www.goodfoodawards.org today!