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Guild of Fine Food launches Great Taste 2023 bursary to help micro producers

18/01/2023

TO CELEBRATE the 30th anniversary of Great Taste, the Guild of Fine Food is offering 50 micro producers the chance to put one new product in front of its expert panel of Great Taste judges for free. Applications must be in by 7 February 2023.

Great Taste is recognised as the world’s most trusted food and drink accreditation scheme. It’s an opportunity for any food and drink producer to have its products assessed by chefs, buyers, food writers and retailers. Currently, the awards scheme is open for entries from members of the Guild of Fine Food, with general entries opening on 23 January 2023.

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This new bursary is aimed at micro producers who have never entered Great Taste before or have a new product, which has never been entered before. Our bursary panel, consisting of Adrian Boswell, buyer at Selfridges, industry commentator and food entrepreneur Mallika Basu, and PR & marketing expert AJ Sharp, will select the 50 most eligible entries.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food comments: “Here at the Guild, we are proud to be celebrating the 30 years of Great Taste.  Since its inception the accreditation scheme has celebrated and helped excellent food & drink. We’ve always been about working with businesses across the industry and our activities have an ecosystem of scaled entry costs that mean our biggest entrants also support our smallest ones.  It’s true, though, that the micro producers often need more help, especially with the current economic headwinds, and that is why we are excited to be launching the Great Taste Bursary. By helping fledging makers, we continue the great work that our team, our judges, and the sector is doing to nurture start-ups and innovative new businesses.  It will encourage and help the very smallest makers to enter, receive constructive feedback and, hopefully, receive affirmation that they are making top-notch food & drink.”

“If our bursary candidates go on to achieve an award, they will be able to display it on packaging and benefit from support and kudos which comes with a Great Taste award. If they are not successful, our rigorous judging process provides every entrant with impartial, honest feedback from industry experts. And that is incredibly valuable.”

Adrian Boswell, buyer at Selfridges comments: “I’ve been judging Great Taste for over ten years and understand the good it does to the wider food & drink sector.  It’s important for my buying role in the food hall to know what’s out there and who are the emerging and quality makers. Great Taste has always done that but being involved in assessing applications to the bursary can only improve that market awareness and, more importantly, the initiative will encourage innovative producers to take part.”

Each year, over 2,300 artisan producers from the UK and across the globe enter their most prized products into Great Taste to receive the all-important judges’ feedback. Some go on to receive an award too, either 1-, 2-, or 3-star; the latter is the highest global accolade based entirely on taste.

Eligible micro producers must:

  • Be less than two years old
  • Have a turnover of less than £100,000
  • Only enter one product per business (that hasn’t been entered in Great Taste before)
  • Be commercially available in the UK

What happens next?

  1. Applications must be received by 7 February 2023 via https://gff.co.uk/bursary
  2. Our panel of judges representing three different disciplines across food and drink will shortlist the final 50 producers from their online application
  3. Bursary winners will be announced 24 February 2023
  4. The products will enter the Great Taste 2023 accreditation scheme, just like any other, and go on to be blind-tasted alongside the other entries in March – June 2023.  Results will be available as part of the overall Great Taste scheme on 1 August 2023.

What is Great Taste?

Recognised as a stamp of excellence and actively sought out by food lovers and retailers alike, Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, values taste above all else. All products in the line-up for judging are blind tasted: every product is removed from its packaging so it cannot be identified, before entering a robust, layered judging process.

The full list of last year’s winners and where to buy them can be found atwww.greattasteawards.co.uk and a wide range of the award-winning products are available to buy in delis, farm shops and independent retail outlets across the country.

How does it work?

A truly international competition, Great Taste has a rigorous judging process, with comprehensive blind taste-testing of food and drink products from a staggering 110 different countries across the world, taking place over 90 days in both the Dorset and London judging venues, by a rotating panel of industry experts.

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