The shortlist for the prestigious awards has been announced with winners due to be unveiled at Farm Shop & Deli Show Monday 8th April at the NEC, Birmingham

2019 Judges cropped

2019 Farm Shop & Deli Awards judges

The 2019 judging panel of industry experts met up last November in London for a day of evaluation and deliberation. Secret visits and mystery shops followed over the next three months to finalise the shortlist, before the announcement on 1st March of the category contenders for the 2019 Farm Shop & Deli Awards, in partnership with The Grocer. Winners will be revealed live at the Farm Shop & Deli Show, 3.30pm on Monday 8th April 2019.

Chair of Judges Nigel Barden, Co Chair of Judges Elaine Lemm, Ashleigh O’Mahony, Food Trends Reporter at The Grocer and, joining the panel for 2019, Georgina Wald, Corporate Communications Manager for Fuller, Smith & Turner are just some of the 2019 Farm Shop & Deli Awards judges who faced the difficult task of whittling down the category finalists this year.

Recognising and rewarding specialist retailers

Returning for the sixth year the Awards, who are sponsored by Garofalo pasta, commend retailers’ success in speciality sectors and regions respectively. Category awards are up for grabs across 11 different specialisms including Butcher of the Year, Delicatessen of the Year, Farm Shop of the Year and Online Business of the Year, which has tripled in the number of entries received for 2019.

The 12th Award up for grabs is ‘Newcomer of the Year’ and it’s positive to see that the number of young businesses entering the Awards continues to grow year on year and, for 2019, champion seven of the nine Award regions from across the UK and Northern Ireland. With more established companies also competing in the Awards there is certainly a diverse representation from the entire sector and our judges have a fantastic range of entrants to judge.


Supporting the Awards

Over the past six years the standard of entries has continued to rise in each of the 12 categories, making the judges’ deliberations in November, and the secret visits to confirm the shortlist, an intergral part of the process. Regardless of the number of entries a category may receive, the judging process ensures that the best contenders are supported and celebrated, regardless of how many finalists the Awards may end up with. We have absolute confidence in our hard working judges and their final decisions and thank them for supporting the Awards with such integrity.

Chair of Judges and Food & drink journalist & broadcaster Nigel Barden tells us: “I am delighted to continue to be involved with the Farm Shop & Deli Awards. It’s a fabulous initiative for the sector and offers the best way to recognise and reward excellence for the UK’s local, artisan and high street speciality retailers. These awards are so important for the industry. One really big factor is the quality of judges. They’re really right across the board from retailers, from producers from food and drink journalists.”

Co chair of judges Elaine Lemm adds: “I feel these Awards are so important to the industry. The farm shops and delis are a very specialised sector of retailing in this country and this is a chance for them to have their voice heard, and really to get it out to the public just how important these businesses are.”

This year there are 50 businesses shortlisted as category finalists, which include nine who are also potential ‘Newcomer of the Year’ winners. The regional winners, who represent the very best retailers that stand out among their local competition from across nine UK regions, will be selected from the category finalists and also announced live at the awards ceremony at Farm Shop & Deli Show, 3.30pm on Monday 8th April - as well as the coveted Farm Shop & Deli Retailer of the Year.