San Francisco, CA (August 6, 2012) – The Good Food Awards—the first national awards to recognize American craft food producers who excel in taste and sustainability—kick-starts the third year of its quest to find America’s best food producers. August 5th marks the official launch of a coast-to-coast call for entries of beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, pickles, preserves, spirits, and (a brand new category) confections. A blind tasting with Alice Waters, Nell Newman and over 130 other food movement leaders will determine this year’s 100 winners, who will be showcased in San Francisco at a special one-day Good Food Awards Marketplace within the iconic CUESA Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
The awards are helping to fuel a national Good Food renaissance, with both concrete business opportunities and national visibility directed at those who win a Good Food Award. From year one to year two the number of entrants grew 35% to 926 entries and is anticipated to reach over 1,000 from all 50 states this year. Last year dozens of Whole Foods Markets featured displays to promote the winners, Williams Sonoma picked up over half a dozen winners in 20 of their stores, and the Ohio House of Representatives honored its hometown winners with a resolution and ceremony. Reported sales increases of 25 to, in one case, 400%, shows the boon that winning can have for both craft food producers and the sustainable farms growing their ingredients. It is estimated that last year’s winners cumulatively invested an increased $800,000 in local farms to fulfill the new demand for their award-winning foods.
“The Awards are a way to publicly recognize the people who are not satisfied with the status quo, but continue to push their industries towards greater craftsmanship and sustainability,” said Sarah Weiner, Director of the Good Food Awards. “They are food crafters from small towns and big cities who are maintaining an important piece of our cultural heritage – the food we eat – while enhancing our agricultural landscape and building strong communities.”
NEW THIS YEAR: CONFECTIONS & THE MERCHANTS GUILD
In further good food news, the awards have answered the sweet tooth call, expanding categories to include confections. From chocolate covered bon bons to gloriously simple caramels, we’re on a mission to honor the confectioners who use locally grown, minimally processed ingredients that celebrate regional culture and tradition and exemplify excellence in the candy making craft.
Also new this year, the Good Food Awards will be launching the first association to connect, convene and promote the growing number of artisan food producers— the Good Food Merchants Guild. Craft food businesses of every type face similar challenges in being environmentally and socially resposible while remaining economically viable, and the Guild will focus on helping them thrive and become a vibrant economic force in America. The new Guild launches with the support of a Founders Circle of forward-thinking businesses dedicated to creating a better food system, including Bon Appétit Management Company, Good Eggs, Whole Foods Market and Bi-Rite Market.
The Good Food Awards would not be possible without the continued support of its many partners. We would like to specially thank Presenting Sponsors Whole Foods Market and the San Francisco Ferry Buidling, as well as Williams Sonoma, Bi-Rite Market, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Veritable Vegetable, The Hub SoMa, Dominic Philips Event Marketing and CUESA for their generous support.
HOW TO ENTER
From August 5-31, 2012, food producers are invited to enter in nine categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, pickles, preserves, spirits and confections. Winners—selected from each region of the United States—are chosen based upon meeting the sustainable production criteria of each category and excelling in the blind tasting.
To enter, basic product information is submitted online at http://www.goodfoodawards.org. A $50 processing fee for each entry covers sorting, transporting and storage, and is waived for the first entry for all Merchants Guild members. All products must be self-certified by the producer as meeting the category-specific criteria of social and environmental responsibility outlined on the entry form. Confirmed entrants are invited to mail samples for the blind tasting in October, and finalists participate in vetting interviews to further elaborate on how they meet the criteria.
ABOUT THE GOOD FOOD AWARDS
The Good Food Awards celebrate the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsible. Now, in its third year, awards will be given to winners in nine categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, pickles, preserves and spirits. The Good Food Awards Seal, found on winning products, assures consumers they have found something exceptionally delicious that also supports sustainability and social good. The Good Food Awards Gold Standard designates winning products that go beyond the Good Food Awards sustainability criteria in using certified organic ingredients.
Good Food Award winners will be announced on January 18, 2013, at a ceremony at San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building, which brings winners and their families together with the nation’s leading chefs, buyers, food movement leaders and media. On January 19, 2013, Good Food Award-winning products will be showcased at a 15,000-person public marketplace in collaboration with the San Francisco Ferry Building and the CUESA farmers market.
Winners also receive a Good Food Awards seal to place on their product and connections to a network of national buyers who seek out foods that meet the holistic Good Food Awards criteria. Find specific entry criteria and more information at: www.goodfoodawards.org.
ABOUT SEEDLING PROJECTS
The Good Food Awards is organized by Seedling Projects in collaboration with a broad community of food producers, chefs, food writers and passionate food-lovers. Seedling Projects, a California public benefit corporation, is led by Sarah Weiner and Dominic Phillips, who have united their diverse skills to support the sustainable food movement. Through focused events and strategic models it engages the public in finding better ways to feed our communities. Find more information at: www.seedlingprojects.org