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The Good Food Awards (www.goodfoodawards.org/) -- the first national awards to recognize American craft food producers who excel in both taste and sustainability -- successfully closed its call for entries (August 5-31st) with over 1,350 entries representing 49 states and 1 federal district, and are gearing up for the biggest Blind Tasting to date since the Awards' inception. There was an overall increase in entries of 40% from last year, indicating the growth in a movement to create businesses based on the sort of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsible.
* Good Food Awards 2012 Schedule
August 5-31 | Entry Period
Nov 19 | Finalists Announced
Jan 18 | Winners Announced
Jan 19 | Marketplace
In the final four days of the entry period, submissions nearly doubled, with several states representing at the last possible moment. An Alaskan salmonberry, lingonberry, and blueberry preserve entry came in 7 minutes before the midnight deadline. This year, the Good Food Awards received their first ever entries from North and South Dakota (spiced cauliflower from Foxholm, ND and an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Birhanu coffee from Sioux Falls, SD), as well as Nevada (honey ganache from Las Vegas and a Guatemala coffee from Reno) and Arkansas (Gouda from Little Rock). There was also a significant increase in entries from Washington D.C., Texas and North Carolina, and a very strong showing from the country’s smallest state, Rhode Island.
New and unique entries from this year’s crop include chipotle beef bak kwa and Korean BBQ jerky, as well as cajetas, pralines and limoncellos. Chiles are appearing across all categories, from chile verde beer to jalapeno chevre to ghost chile caramels. Entries this year reveal the impressive breadth and depth of American culinary traditions, new and old. The Awards are helping to fuel a national Good Food renaissance, publicly recognizing producers who are preserving cultural heritage, enhancing the country's agricultural landscape, and contributing to their local economies.
Growing The Good Food Community: The Good Food Merchants Guild
In early August, Seedling Projects proudly launched the Good Food Merchants Guild, the first-of-its-kind trade association bringing together craft food producers with sustainable business practices. In its first three weeks, the Good Food Merchants Guild received 88 applicants from 25 states, and the Guild will announce its charter members in late-September after they have all been vetted for sustainability and social responsibility standards.
Inspired by the community of businesses brought together by the Good Food Awards, the Good Food Merchants Guild broadens the reach of the Awards to craft food producers of all kinds, and will provide year round support and benefits. The mission of the Good Food Merchants Guild is to connect, convene and promote sustainable craft food producers around the country, uniting them into a vibrant economic force that fosters change within the food system.
With the support of a Founders Circle of forward-thinking businesses dedicated to creating a better food system, the Good Food Merchants Guild is bringing concrete benefits to help its members thrive. Current benefits include stickers and posters to proudly show the business is part of the Good Food movement; a Guild-branded webstore from Good Eggs; listing in a dedicated Guild catalog on Buyer’s Best Friend; and a free job postings on Goodfoodjobs.com ($60 value). Many more benefits are planned for the next year, including a partnership with the National Association of Specialty Food Traders (NASFT) to share valuable business education resources on issues with special relevance to members, special opportunities with retail partners Bi Rite Market and Whole Foods Market, and collaboration with Bon Appétit Management Company to feature Good Food Guild food and drink at select locations of its 500-plus catering accounts.
ABOUT SEEDLING PROJECTS
The Good Food Awards and Merchants Guild are organized by Seedling Projects in collaboration with a broad community of food producers, chefs, food writers and passionate food-lovers. Seedling Projects, a California public benefit corporation, is led by Sarah Weiner and Dominic Phillips, who have united their diverse skills to support the sustainable food movement. Through focused events and strategic models it engages the public in finding better ways to feed our communities. Find more information at: www.seedlingprojects.org
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