Produced with care: Soil Association Organic Food Award winners announced
20 September 2013
Winners of this year’s Soil Association Organic Food Awards, supported by Seeds of Change, were recognised last night (19th September) at a celebration in central London. The awards showcase the UK’s best organic food produced with passion, creativity and care.
Winners include Brown Cow Organics live natural yoghurt, Riverford vegetable harira soup, the Hampstead Tea and Coffee Co white leaf tea, Booja Booja’s keep smiling vanilla m’gorilla frozen dessert and the Story Group organic chicken. (Full winners list below)
Now in their 27th year, the Organic Food Awards blow the trumpet for the best of the best. These are the producers who go the extra mile – like Green's Windmill who won an Organic Food Award for their Organic Stoneground White Flour. Milled in the traditional way using French millstones in a nineteenth century windmill, the wheat used is grown locally on a biodynamic farm. Like the Science Centre it houses, the mill is committed to ecological innovation and produces their own power to reduce their carbon footprint. Sitting on the edge of inner city Nottingham, the mill is open to the public and is also an educational resource for schools with hands-on bread-making sessions, following the process from grain to loaf.
In addition to the 11 product categories, this year there are also five special awards for those who put their heart and hard work into organic and social enterprise. The special awards include best school community initiative, best independent retailer, best supermarket and the consumer choice award - in recognition of the breadth and diversity of the organic movement.
Speaking at the event, Helen Browning, chief executive of the Soil Association said: “This year’s Organic Food Award winners prove there is even more to their products than fantastic taste. Organic food producers champion health, and new solutions to the challenge of caring for people, farm animals and wildlife, while feeding an ever growing population. I am thrilled that there were so many entries this year, reflecting recent research showing an overall return to growth in the organic market. The judges were often hard-pressed to make a decision in many categories as the quality was so high.”
Monty Don, President of the Soil Association said: “The Organic Food Awards celebrate not only great tasting food and drink but also the inspiring stories behind it. This is food that has been produced to the highest welfare and environmental standards by people who care passionately about what they do.”
The 2013 Organic Food Awards ceremony took place at Wholefoods Kensington High Street on 19 September.
For more information including further winners stories visit www.soilassociation.org/foodawards
For press enquiries please contact:
Natasha Collins-Daniel, Press Office Manager – 0117 914 2448 / 07827 925380
Holly Black, Digital Communications and Press Officer – 0117 314 5170
1. Organic Food Award 2013 winners
Bread and Flour - Friends of Green’s Mill with their Organic Stoneground White Flour
Dairy – Brown Cow Organics with their Live Natural Yoghurt
Eggs – Nantclyd Farm with their eggs
Meat and Fish - The Story Group with their Organic Chicken
Fruit and Vegetables - Growing Communities with their Hackney Salad
Baby and Children’s Food - Real Nice Organic with their Organic Mango Ice Lolly
Prepared Food - Riverford with their Vegetable Harira Soup
Store Cupboard Staples - Community Foods with their Crazy Jack Organic Ready to Eat Apricots
Cakes & Biscuits, Confectionery & Desserts - The Booja-Booja Company with their Keep Smiling Vanilla M’Gorilla Frozen Dessert
Non-alcoholic drinks - The Hampstead Tea & Coffee Company with their White Leaf Tea
Beer and Cider - Stroud Brewery with their Big Cat Organic Stout
Wine and Spirits - Vinceremos Organic Wines with their Vacqueyras ‘Le Village’ Montirius 2012
Best Value Awards - This year we have introduced some Best Value awards. These are to recognise high quality organic products, already selected as gold winners based on taste, that are also accessible to consumers based on their price. We have four Best Value award winners this year:
Arla Foods with their Tesco Organic Salted Butter
Riverford with their carrots
Kallo Foods with their Clipper Fairtrade Organic Papua New Guinea Rich Road Instant Coffee
Vinceremos Organic Wines with their Black Fox Cider, Dunkertons Cider Company
Best Box Scheme
The winner of this award was chosen for their excellent box with high quality and vibrant content. They were also a shining example of how to combine good business sense with great ethics. Shillingford Organics with their Medium Organic Vegetable Box
Best Independent Retailer
The winner of this category was chosen as the best example of retailing that extends well beyond the product range and is a ‘way of life’ and core to their business objectives. They showed great examples of embracing every opportunity to pull in more customers, innovate on ranges and communicate to customers through newsletters and staging events. The Better Food Company
The winner of this category was chosen for their holistic approach to providing a wide range of organic choices for their customers while fully supporting British and organic farming. Their consistency of support and commitment to organic during more challenging years has been evident, maintaining a robust product development programme and investment in marketing. Waitrose
Best School Community Initiative
Children at the winning school are responsible for running the school’s ‘Global Food Garden’ project, and grow a wide variety of organic, global food from seed to plate. They tend to a mini trained orchard, care for hens, compost, plant perennial fruit and vegetables, and over the years have taken thousands of seeds home to grow, nurture to fruition and eat! Their application showed the emphasis that was on cooking and growing organic food, at home as well as at school. They share their learning with other schools - 200 children and staff have visited the garden so far this year, and taken part in seed sowing workshops. They also hold Saturday volunteer events, which enables people from the local community to take part in organic food growing and related activities. On top of this, there are four plots in the garden which are ‘leased’ each year, free of charge, to families of children at school without gardens at home. This gives parents and their children the opportunity to grow their own local, organic food. Pooles Park Primary School, Islington
Consumer Choice award
Chosen by public nomination – we received 540 nominations in total this year! The shortlisted winners are on the screens. Coco Loco with their chocolate brownies
2. This year entrants have been asked to provide information on the history and provenance of what they’ve produced, providing interesting case studies for tailored media use. See supporting document.
3. Organic September - The Awards are announced as part of Organic September, the UK's biggest celebration of all things organic. This year sees the launch of the Small Changes, Big Difference campaign. For more information visit http://www.soilassociation.org/smallchangesbigdifference
4. The Soil Association is a membership charity campaigning for planet-friendly food and farming. We believe in the connection between soil, food, the health of people and the health of the planet. See www.soilassociation.org for more information.
5. Seeds of Change began as a small seed company in 1989 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. They were, and are, concerned about the long-term effects of intensive farming methods on the planet's biodiversity. Seeds of Change started their organic seed company farm, Seeds of Change with a simple mission: "To preserve biodiversity and promote the use of sustainable organic agricultural practices". Over the last twenty years their mission evolved into providing great tasting, simple cooking sauces and rice and grains products. They passionately believe that even convenient food tastes best when produced the way nature intended – the way you would make it yourself if you had a little bit more time. See www.seedsofchange.co.uk for more information.