One of the UK’s biggest county competitions celebrating local food and drink has been forced to undergo changes this year for obvious reasons - but in the fertile and highly productive county of Devon, it remains the case that “the show must go on”.
The county’s producers, hospitality and catering businesses and speciality retailers have now been given the deadline of the end of this month to enter the prestigious Food Drink Devon Awards, which this year will be staged online for the first time.
“We have introduced an alternative awards scheme which aims to celebrate the businesses which have worked hard to adapt and continue to trade throughout these unprecedented times,” says the organisation’s chair, Barbara King.
“These awards are open to all food and drink businesses based in Devon - both members and non-members are welcome. Experience over the years has shown us the winners really do reap great benefits - from media recognition to the prestige of using award success in a business’s all-important marketing.”
The new-look 2020 Food Drink Devon Awards will be centered around six categories and judges in most will be looking for evidence of quality, sustainability and provenance.
In the Eatery of the Year competition for example, submissions will need to both demonstrate these attributes and explain how the business uses fresh, local and in-season produce, as well as how it provides good levels of customer service. Submissions must also outline how a business helps support its local community.
Much the same applies in the Retailer of the Year and Food Drink Devon Business of the Year categories - and also in the highly contested Food and Drink of the Year Awards (although samples will need to be sent to support submissions for the latter).
When it comes to the Employee of the Year Award, judges will be looking for “an employee who has gone above and beyond their job description or maybe done something special to help others…”
“Given the extraordinary year we’ve experienced so far and the inevitable economic downturn, it is more important than ever that we shout from the rooftops about what an amazing place Devon is - especially when it comes to the county’s first-class food and drink offering, which is second to none in the UK,” commented Mrs King.
“We have been very fortunate this year to attract sponsors for these awards - so thank you to Peplows accountancy services and Stephens Scown legal services, as well as Kamado Joe which has its European marketing division based in Devon.”
Entry forms are available from www.fooddrinkdevon.co.uk/awards/2020-awards and must be completed and submitted by 30 September. Judging will take place during October, and a shortlist of winners will be announced shortly thereafter with a virtual online ceremony to be staged on the 12 November.
For more information about Food Drink Devon, the awards and to sign up to their monthly newsletters which feature events, offers and competitions, please visit www.fooddrinkdevon.co.uk and follow @FoodDrinkDevon on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.