Welcome to the BBC Food And Farming Awards
The history of the awards, how you can send in your nomination and how the winners are decided.
The BBC Food & Farming Awards were launched in 2000, to mark the 20th anniversary of Radio 4’s The Food Programme.
The mission statement then (which remains true to this day) was “to honour those who have done most to promote the cause of good food”.
The first judging team included Derek Cooper, the founding presenter of the Food Programme. Subsequent judges have come from a cross-section of the food world - chefs, academics, retail analysts, writers and campaigners.
The Awards Categories
Originally comprising seven categories, the number has increased to ten to reflect changes in British food culture, new ideas, businesses and trends (for example Best Drinks Producer was added in 2010 to reflect the renaissance in British brewing, cider making and distilling.)
How to send in a nomination
The public send in nominations for each of the categories by completing and submitting an online nomination form on this website (nominations for 2014 open on 5th January 2014).
Nominations cover both local food heroes and national favourites. Businesses are allowed to nominate themselves. From that point on everything is decided by the panel of expert judges.
The Judging Process
Once the judges receive the nominations (thousands come in from every region in the UK) they select a short list of three finalists in each category which has to be signed off by the entire judging panel.
Then the fun begins! Working in pairs the judges travel to meet their chosen finalists (over the years this has involved visits ranging from the Isles of Scilly to the Isle of Islay).
A few weeks later, after all the visits have been completed, the team gathers at the final judges’ meeting; stories are exchanged in detail, businesses explained and flavours described. The panel, working as a team, decide on the eventual winners.
See a gallery of this year's judges
Previous winners include cheesemongers, cheesemakers, food writers, dinner ladies, chip shops, broadcasters and campaigners, fish smokers, farmers markets, dairy farmers, butchers, bakers, community food shops and hospital caterers.
The winners are revealed at the Food & Farming Awards ceremony. The inaugural event was held in St James's Palace (with the support of HRH, The Prince of Wales) with Stephen Fry acting as host. In subsequent years the Awards have been held in Birmingham’s Museum and Art Gallery and in the NEC, Birmingham, (in partnership with the BBC Good Food Show). In 2014 the City of Bristol will play host to the BBC Food & Farming Awards.