Twelve judges in the Food and Farming Awards 2012, including Angela Hartnett, Valentine Warner, Charles Campion and Victoria Moore met recently to debate, taste and drink their way through thousands of nominations and decided on this year’s finalists.
BBC listeners, viewers and online users had sent in nominations from all over the UK, covering nine different food categories, from Best Food Producer to Best Food Market and from Best Dinner Lady to Best Takeaway. The judging team spent weeks, reading, researching, exchanging ideas and opinion as to who should make it to the eventual line-up of 28 finalists.
It’s been close. The stories they’ve been sent, in every category have been inspirational, from visionary farmers in Northern Ireland, to pioneering retail food shops in north Wales, from a workers’ co-operative baking bread to supermarkets trying to rethink supply chains to source ingredients more sustainably.
Ahead of revealing this year’s finalists the judges wanted to publish shortlists featuring all of the nominees they took to the final stage of their decision making, nominees who had really impressed.
Best Food Market
The judges had hundreds of markets to choose from, ranging from traditional town centre markets and Farmers’ Markets through to student run events and big community initiatives. Here they were looking for a market that “best serves its local community providing fresh, high quality and affordable food, particularly in areas neglected by other retailers”.