What a year this is turning out to be! Despite the lockdown, South West food and drink producers have once again excelled themselves, and this week Taste of the West has had the honour of awarding the first round of Gold, Silver and Commended awards in the 2020 Product Awards scheme, sponsored by Old Mill. Please click here to view the list of winning products.
The annual Taste of the West Awards scheme, which has grown over the last two and a half decades to become the UK’s largest regional food and drink awards programme, helps food and drink businesses in the South West to thrive and succeed. Products entered into the second and third rounds of judging are being sampled and tasted within the next few weeks, and a further list of results is due to be announced towards the end of July. Working independently, the judges were really impressed by some innovative new products from South West food and drink producers, with many Gold Awards going to the more traditional West Country products such as beef, bacon, beer, cider, jam and chutney. A popular class again this year is gin! With over 25 different gins entered.
So far, and bear in mind there are still around 400 products to be judged this year, Taste of the West has awarded 168 Gold Awards, 89 Silver Awards and 59 Commended awards in this year’s Taste of the West Awards programme.
John Sheaves, Chief Executive of Taste of the West, commented “This year we are particularly pleased that given the difficulties the sector has faced with the Covid-19 crisis, the level of innovation in product development has been higher than usual. Through our experience of running the UK’s largest regional food and drink awards programme, our aim is to raise the bar in terms of excellence. In this way, we know that we can offer a product to a discerning consumer market which has been thoroughly tested and evaluated. So far, and there is still some way to go yet, we have seen a very high standard in food products.”
This year’s Awards are title sponsored by financial experts, Old Mill, who share Taste of the West’s passion for supporting local food and drink businesses from the West Country. Phil Mills, Head of Food and Drink at Old Mill commented: “Once again the outstanding quality of the produce delivered day in day out by award winners cements our belief that the West Country is at the pinnacle of the UK food and drink industry and we are delighted to have continued our partnership with Taste of the West through which we can further support the sector.”