About the Farm Shop & Deli Awards

We hope the information and links contained within this page provides you with all you need to know about the Awards. If however you require any further assistance please contact the team


Quick links

What are the Awards thin

Who are the Awards for thin

What awards can I win thin

How are the awards judged thin

When do the Awards take place thin

Why is consumer voting important thin

How do I enter thin

How can I sponsor an award thin

Other useful links thin


What are the Farm Shop & Deli Awards?

About the Awards from Chair of Judges Nigel Barden


With an expert panel of judges joining Nigel Barden Chair of Judges, the Awards recognise the highest levels of service, product knowledge, initiative, innovation and community involvement, offered by our heroes of the high-street.

The Farm Shop & Deli Awards are a fantastic way for specialist retailers in the food and drink sector to showcase all the great work you and your team are doing nationally and with your local customers.

“It was well worth entering the Awards. We’ve had so much exposure, it’s a really high profile Award and we’re delighted to win it. I think they are very important Awards, they are really useful in promoting and marketing your business.”
Richard Nicholson, Director, Cannon Hall Farm Shop, winner Retailer of the Year 2019

The Awards take place across six key stages throughout the year as shown below:

stages banner 2020

During stage one specialist retailers are able to commence their entries.

We also invite our judges to nominate retailers they feel are worthy of entering as well as encouraging suppliers, customers and Farm Shop & Deli Show exhibitors to nominate their favourite businesses via our online nomination form on the website.

The nominations closed on 23rd August and nominated businesses, who had not yet submitted an entry, were contacted by us in early September.


Entries for the 2021 Farm Shop & Deli Awards will be open in July 2020. Please click on below image to register your interest and we will let you know when they are open.

FSDA reg interest 21



Our 2020 online nominations are now closed (23rd August) but will open up again in August 2020 for the 2021 Awards.


Stage two is our consumer voting stage and, by visiting our entrants page, visitors to the website and entrant customers can vote for their favourite retailer(s). 

Voting for the 2020 Awards closed on 31st October 2019.


And it doesn’t stop with the win – the Retailer of the Year winners are invited to join the judging panel, bringing a more cohesive approach to the judging process and an even better understanding of the challenges the entrants face.

Click on the imagfe below to find out more about the benefits of entering:

Benefits of winning montage

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Who are the Farm Shop & Deli Awards for? 

If you are an independent retailer selling regional fresh/farm produce or with a delicatessen counter you should enter. See below ‘What awards can I win?’ section for more information on the categories.

As each year the Awards welcome submissions from both new and previous entrants, the mix of category entries change year on year - meaning everyone is a contender. 

Entries for the 2020 Farm Shop & Deli Awards opened in July and closed on Friday 20th September 2019.

Entries for the 2021 Farm Shop & Deli Awards will open in July 2020. Please click on below image to register your interest and we will let you know when they are open.

FSDA reg interest 21


Take a look at our 2020 finalists and winners:

2020 finalists FSDA Category and regional winners button

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What Awards can I win?

Category Awards

The Awards cover the following categories:

  • Baker
  • Butcher
  • Cheesemonger
  • Delicatessen
  • Farm Shop - Large Retailer
  • Farm Shop - Small Retailer
  • Fishmonger
  • Food Hall
  • Greengrocer
  • Newcomer*
  • Online business
  • Village Store / Local Shop

*If your shop/business opened after April 2017, you will automatically be entered into the 'Newcomer of the Year' award, as well as proceeding in the category you chose.

You can only enter ONE category per business, so please ensure you choose the category that best suits your business.

See our category descriptions:


Regional Awards

We also celebrate regional winners. Whilst category winners can also win their region, we often have many regional only winners.

The Awards cover the following nine regions

  • East Anglia 
  • Midlands 
  • North East
  • North West 
  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland
  • South East
  • South West
  • Wales

You will select your region on the online entry form.


Overall retailer of the year winner

Our overall winner is selected by the judging panel from shops/businesses who have won both their category, and region.

Take a look at our 2020 Retailer of the Year.

FSDA ROY button

Our 2020 category, regional and overall Retailer of the Year winners were announced online on Monday 30th March 2020, please click on the below image to watch the announcement:

1. Watch announcement Twitter


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how are the awards judged?

Each award will be judged on the many factors covering speciality retail including highest levels of service, product knowledge, initiative, innovation and community involvement.

Chair of judges, Nigel Barden, will be joined by leading speciality retailers and key industry figures to bring a wealth of knowledge to the judging process. The judging process will include mystery visits and public votes and the public will also have the opportunity to nominate their favourite retailer for the award.

Entrants will be judged within their category, once category winners have been agreed judges will also choose a best Regional winner, who may or may not be a category winner.

In addition, any business that opened after 30 April 2017, will automatically be judged in the Newcomer of the Year category, as well as the category they entered.

Winners of both their category and region will then have the chance to win the prestigious title ‘Farm Shop & Deli Retailer of the Year’. The overall winner was announced online, on Social Media and on our website on Monday 30th March 2020.

Find out more about our judging structure and judges:

Judging structure

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When do the Farm Shop & Deli Awards take place?

2020 Awards key dates
  • Entries for the 2020 Awards opened in July and closed on Friday 20th September.
  • The online nomination process commenced on 26th July and closed on 23rd August.
  • Consumer voting commenced in September and closed on 31st October.
  • Judging took place October to November ahead of the face-to-face judges deliberations mid November.
  • After the initial round of judging, the 'secret' visits are taking place in December, January and February.
  • Category and Regional Award finalists were revealed in early March 2020 and can be viewed here.
  • Category winners, Regional winners and the overall winner, the Farm Shop & Deli Retailer of the Year, were announced online, on Social Media and on our website on Monday 30th March 2020 and can be viewed here.

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why is the consumer voting important?

Customer comments are important to the judging process and a chance to show support for local retailers. The consumer votes help decide the category, regional and overall Farm Shop & Deli Retailer of the Year Award winners.

The online votes are designed for you to get as maximum exposure within your local area to raise your profile, and the voting system is designed to help you achieve this. We will provide you with the tools you need to support this such as a press release template, online banners and voting cards for your store.

The votes are used by the judges in the judging process, all votes are compiled and read at the face-to-face judging day. The votes are judged on quality and not just quantity. They are used by the judges to get a full view of your entry.

All online voters will be entered into a prize draw to win a food hamper. The winner will be selected and notified after the online voting closes at the end of October.

Voting for the 2020 Awards is now closed (31 October 2019).

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How do I enter?

Entries for the 2020 Awards opened in July and closed on 20th September 2019.

Entries for the 2021 Farm Shop & Deli Awards will open in July 2020. Please click on below image to register your interest and we will let you know when they are open.

FSDA reg interest 21


More information on the entry process

The entry process is online and below is a useful guide on what to expect:

This online entry form provide tips and advice on how best to approach the answers. In addition the organisers appreciate that, in this specialist sector, ‘one size does not fit all’, so encourage entrants to use the opportunity provided to really showcase their business, it’s attributes, successes and most importantly what sets them apart. 

We recommend, if you have not done so yet, you take a look at our tips on entering:

Tips on entering


Answering the questions:

When completing your anwers consider what makes you stand out from your competitors - why should you win?

The tips we provide for each question are guidance/suggestions ONLY to get you thinking. As each entrant is unique, and not one-size-fits-all, please feel you can offer answers that are relevant to you and your businesses.

Below are the questions from the 2020 entry form as an example (minimum 100 words, maximum 250 words per answer)

1. What category are you entering this business for? (scroll down to the'Choosing your category' section below).

2. Did this business/store open after 1st April 2017? If so you will be asked to provide month and year it opened.

3. What is your business mission? (This is a statement of the purpose and values of your business that will form your profile on our 2020 entrants website page).

4. What % has the business increased it's gross profit margins YOY
Please select one from the values provided on the entry form. Information provided is confidential for judging purposes only.
Tips: The following question will allow you to tell the judges how this has been achieved.

5. Tell us how your business has grown YOY
Looking back, expand on your achievements and tell us what you have done to grow your business and gross profit margins identified in previous question. Please provide clear and concise answers to demonstrate your success. Information provided is confidential for judging purposes only.
Tips: Consider including stats for the past year on average customers served per week; average customer spend per week; how many part-time and how many full-time staff you employ. Consider sharing if/how your customer base has increased this past year; have you met your business objectives for the previous year? What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?


6. What are your plans to grow the business over the next 12/18 months?*
Looking forward, tell us your plans to grow the business. Please provide clear and concise answers. Information provided is confidential for judging purposes only.
Tips: Tell us how your business is addressing current/future trends and opportunities. What are they? How will you maximise them? What challenges do you face and how you will overcome them?


7. How do you and your staff develop the relationships with your customers, and your community?
This question is about the passion and inspiration behind your business and staff.
Tips: Tell us what mechanisms you use to nurture the relationship with your staff, customers and community (consider staff training, product selection, shop layout, incentives & events, services offered, how you support your local community?) How do you measure if this is working?


8. What makes you different to everyone else?
This question is about what sets you apart from your competition.
Tips: Tell us what is your niche and why do you think you should win? Provide examples of unusual, unique and ground-breaking elements. We understand each business is individual and so this is an optional opportunity for you to tell us anything else pertinent to your business, staff, growth, success, challenges etc, that you have not had a chance to cover in the previous questions.


Registering and commencing your online entry:

  • When you click to the 'Enter the Awards' you will be directed to an online entry form to 'Create an account' or, if you entered in 2018 or 2019 to, 'Sign In'.
  • Once you have 'Created an account', you will receive a registration confirmation email containing a link you must click on to verify your email address before you can Sign In.
  • Sign In.
  • Complete the Entry Form. 
  • You can save the application as you proceed and of course return to it.
  • Upload your photos and optional video (further details provided below).
  • Check your answers and photos and ensure you have read and accepted the terms and conditions and consent for your profile photo and copy to be uploaded to the award's website.
  • Only when you are 100% satisfied - Submit your Entry to complete the process.


Choosing your category:

On the online entry form you will be asked to select your category. Your category is determined by the primary focus of your business.

A shop/business can only enter one of the categories (unless your business/shop opened after April 2017, in which case you will automatically be put forward for 'Newcomer of the Year' as well as your chosen category.)

Take a look at our category definitions:



By entering you will have an opportiunity to win your Category and/or Region. If you win both your category and region you can also win the overall Award: Farm Shop & Deli Awards Retailer of the Year.
If your shop or business opened after April 2017, you may also be lucky enough to win the Newcomer of the Year award, as well as your Category and Regional award!

Take a look at the judging structure for further information:

Judging structure

Uploading your supporting photos and optional video:

To accompany your entry, showcase your business and assist the judges, we ask you to upload the following photos when requested during the online entry process. We recommend considering and preparing these in advance of commencing your online entry and only one photo per question is permitted:

1. Upload an image of your team. (This is a compulsory requirement and will be used as your profile picture on the website entrants page).
2. Please show us your shop front or shop window (if relevant to your business) (optional).
3. Upload image showcasing your store layout or product range (optional).
4. Upload additional image of your choice (1 of 2) (optional)
5. Upload additional image of your choice (2 of 2) (optional)
Images should be uploaded in JPG format and we recommend files no larger than 8MB

6. If you wish, please upload video to support your entry (optional).
Tip: This is a great opportunity to showcase your store, team and customers to the judges. Take a short video, engage with the camera, get your passion across!
Please upload an MP4 video file, no longer than 3 minutes in duration

To enable you time to complete the entry at your own convenience, you are able to access and return to the online entry form as many times as you require up to the point where you submit your entry to us. After that no further amends can be made.

We hope this information is useful to you, If you have any questions or require any assistance to enter the awards please contact antonia.green@wrbm.com or call 01293 610235 Monday - Friday between 9am and 5pm. 

Entries for the 2020 Farm Shop & Deli Awards are now closed.

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How can I sponsor an Award?

If you are supplier exhibiting at the Farm Shop & Deli Show and are interested in being one of our Farm Shop & Deli Awards Sponsors, please get in touch with us to discuss your options.


nominate a retailer for a chance to win a fortnum & mason food hamper

Are you a supplier to the specialist retail industry or a customer to a local business you wish to champion? Or perhaps you are a retailer who has already entered and know other worthy contenders in this wonderful sector?

Why not nominate one or more retailers and help us to encourange them to enter the Awards? 

Plus, we're giving away a Fortnum & Mason food hamper to one lucky person who makes an online nomination.

Please note: nominations have now closed (23rd August).


Other useful links:

Awards blogs Contact us Press Releases

Previous winners entries Prizesy Sponsors

Supporters Ts and Cs Videos


Good luck from the Farm Shop & Deli Awards Team!

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Supporting specialist retailers