The winners of the Soil Association’s Organic Food Awards, in association with the Mail on Sunday’s You Magazine, will be announced on Friday 3 November at a special lunch at Conran’s Great Eastern Hotel in London. Now in its fourteenth year the awards represent the best organic products and producers in the UK in an increasingly competitive market.
Jonathan Dimbleby, President of the Soil Association will introduce the winners to Monty Don, Channel 4’s exclusive Gardening Expert and author of Fork to Fork, who will present the awards. There are 19 different product categories from fresh meat to baby food and six special awards including individual achievements, best producer, retailer and box schemes.
A team of 41 juudges including Sophie Grigson, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Lynda Brown, Antony Worrall-Thompson, and Patricia Gallimore (who plays Pat Archer in BBC Radio $’s farming soap ‘The Archers’), have between them tasted and supped a total of 740 product entries and visited organic shops and farms and length and breadth of the country.
Sales of organic food continues to grow 40% year on year and the market in the UK is predicted to be worth £764 million this year. Over 70% of organic food imported to meet demand and the Soil Association is campaigned to increase the amount of agricultural land farmed organically in the UK from 2.5% to 30% by 2010.