Judging Structure

The Farm shop and Deli Awards aim to recognise and reward excellence in the specialist retail market. Developed to cover the length and breadth of the UK's specialist retail market and support the independent food sector, the awards include:

  • 12 Category Winners
  • 9 Regional Winners (to be selected from all category entries)
  • Overall winner, ‘Farm Shop & Deli Retailer of the Year’ (Judged by selecting the outstanding all-round retailer from the 9 Regional Winners)

These awards are set to be the national benchmark for all specialist retailers.

The initial judging process will include a weighted scoring system to decide Category Winners and Regional Winners. The secondary judging process will include mystery visits to decide the overall ‘Retailer of the Year’. 

The initial scoring system will include elements on: consumer feedback, business statistics, sustainability, people, training, community involvement, products/suppliers and innovation. Only independent retailers (who sell directly to consumers/individuals) can enter the awards. Independent retailers must be selling regional fresh/farm produce or with a delicatessen counter.  Our chair of Judges Nigel Barden will be joined by leading specialist retailers and key industry figures to bring a wealth of knowledge to the awards judging.  The whole process will be rigorous and thorough to ensure the maximum value in the market for these awards.



Entries for 2019 are now open!

Enter now 2019



The category winners will be judged against structured scoring system and quality of entry (see below)

20% weighted scoring on consumer votes

(10% - number of votes)

(10% - quality of feedback)

80% on online entry answers and content



This award will be made to the Category and Region who has, in the opinion of the judging panel, consistently met the highest level of quality whilst scoring consistently above all competition within a minimum of 5 and maximum of 10 judging criteria.

The judges will be looking for exceptional specialist retail effort and the ‘deli attitude’ as well as great business practises and useful information in the following answers:

1. What category are you entering this business for?

2. Did this business/store open after 1st April 2016? 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 2018 entrants website page)

4. How has your business grown year on year and what are your plans to continue to grow the business over the next 12/18 months?

5. How do you and your staff develop the relationships with your customers, and your community?6. Why do you deserve to win?7. Do you have anything else you wish to tell us? (Optional)



The judge’s mystery visits that take place throughout December, January and February.



12 Category Winners:

  • 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 2016, you will automatically be entered into the 'Newcomer of the Year' award, as well as proceeding in the category you chose.


Category descriptions can be seen here.

9 Regional Winners:

-   Best performing businesses across all categories go head to head

-   Will be judged by comparative entry scores within region

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


1 Overall Winner, “Farm Shop & Deli Retailer of the year”

Selected from the Regional Winners

The outstanding entry, displaying excellence in all criteria.