The finalists for the Farm Shop & Deli Awards, back for the third year by popular demand, have recently been announced. The awards, in partnership with Olives Et Al, recognise the best in class in the specialist independent retail market. They celebrate the very best standards, levels of service, product innovation and community involvement in the sector.
Simon Hurley, MD Olives Et Al says: "Not only is the show an opportunity for us to connect with customers and suppliers, it also provides a platform to celebrate the best in the industry. In a sector which has shown continuous growth, the awards highlight the quality and dedication of these independent and speciality businesses.
Now in our third year of sponsorship, Olives Et Al look forward to showcasing the full range at the show next month as well as unveiling some exciting new additions for the year ahead.”
The awards commend retailers’ success in speciality sectors and regions respectively. With over 350 entries nationwide, competition is high to obtain these coveted accolades.
Category awards are up for grabs across 12 different specialisms including Farmshop of the Year – Large Retailer, sponsored by Lakeland computers, and Rhug Farm Shop, Corwen, North Wales are one of four finalists in the running.
The regional winners, who represent the very best retailers that stand out among their local competition, will be selected from our category finalists and announced live at the awards on 18 April, along with the prestigious winner for ‘Retailer of the Year’.
The team of judges, which includes experts from the world of speciality retail, fine food and food media, has whittled down the entries, carrying out a series of ‘secret’ visits to see the retailers in action. Scores will be counted and judged along with online votes from consumers ahead of the winners’ unveiling.
Nigel Barden, the Chairman of judges, commented: "The artisan food and drink market is particularly competitive and it’s crucial that we recognise those who are championing the sector by leading from the front. It’s important that they can be acknowledged by the public and their peers in the trade.
I'm looking forward to interviewing last year’s overall winner, Johns of Instow and Appledore, at the Farm Shop & Deli Show, on the subject of ‘Survival of the Fittest’, sharing the secrets of their success and how the award has helped them grow. Don’t miss it!”
Elaine Lemm, the Co-Chair of judges and Food Writer, says: “Every year I feel the standard of entries to the Farm Shop & Deli Awards could not possibly get any higher. Every year I am wrong and this year is no exception.
From the tiniest of shops, market stalls, and sole traders, to the largest of food halls and farm shops, the passion, dedication, and hard work shines through from everyone, is it any wonder standards continue to climb? Everyone who has reached this stage of these prestigious awards should congratulate themselves; you are already winners and for a good reason because you are among the best in the UK.”
The winners of the awards, also held in association with category sponsors Lakeland Computers and A F Blakemore & Sons Ltd, will be announced at show on Monday 18 April for visitors to get the first glimpse at those companies leading the sector.
Farm Shop & Deli Show Event Director, Jack Halliday, said: “The awards are an excellent way to reward those leading the specialist retail sector. They set an exceptional industry standard across the categories and regions through targeted innovation and true understanding of what makes consumers tick.
At Farm Shop & Deli Show, we look to be at the forefront of the industry, and there are no greater ambassadors for this than the current shortlisted companies and our ultimate winners.”
Lord Newborough of Rhug Estate said: “It’s a true accolade to be a finalists in this year’s awards. I am very proud of the team here at Rhug Farm Shop, who continue to deliver a great service to all our wonderful cutomers and champion the very best in local and organic food.”