Author: Claudia Frost
The winners of the 2011 Organic Food Awards were announced at the Start Festival held at Clarence House in London on 27 July 2011. Now in their 23rd year, the Soil Association Organic Food Awards are the most prestigious and widely respected in the organic sector in Great Britain, recognising and celebrating the contribution organic food producers make to the food and farming industry. To find the winners of the awards, over three days at the Duke of Cambridge organic pub in London an expert judging panel of 35 food critics, broadcasters and chefs applied their food expertise to nearly 400 products across twelve categories. (Picture: The Prince of Wales with the managing director of Tideford Organics)
The Organic Food Awards were open to any product registered as organic and certified by a recognised organic certification body within the EU. This year, there was also the opportunity for consumers to nominate their favourite organic products for the awards.
The “Start Growing” festival, established by The Prince's Charities Foundation to promote and celebrate sustainable living, took place at Clarence House, Prince Charles’ residence, from 27 to 31 July 2011. The UK's leading organic charities, Garden Organic and the Soil Association, were working together to bring a taste of organic to the event. The festival also included the Soil Association Organic Food Awards ceremony, which was attended by Prince Charles, who met and congratulated the winners. (Picture: Lynette Sinclair, managing director of Tideford Organics, and Hardeep Singh Kohli)
The winners of the awards were as follows:
Baby, infant & children’s food: Organix Organic Apple & Strawberry / Apple & Peach Dual. Organix’ range of 100% organic fruit purees offer babies a variety of natural tastes and flavours to expand their palate.
Baked goods: The Bertinet Bakery, Sourdough
The Bertinet Bakery is celebrating a second successful year at the Soil Association Organic Food Awards 2011. Two new products also received awards - the Bertinet Baguette was Highly Commended and the Bertinet Burger Bun was Commended. The Bertinet Bakery produces a range of a dozen organic artisan loaves. Bertinet Sourdough is made using traditional French techniques to Richard’s Bertinet’s own recipe, honed over his 30 year baking career. The simplest of ingredients – just good flour, salt and water – are transformed with time and skill into bread.
Richard Bertinet (picture) was named BBC Food Champion of the Year 2010 for his work on bread. He is also the author of two award winning books on baking, Dough and Crust and bread classes at his cookery school, The Bertinet Kitchen, are sold out months in advance. He regularly appears on TV.
Beer and Cider: Little Valley Brewery, Tod's Blonde 5.0% - Organic, Vegan, Bottle Conditioned Real Ale
Little Valley also received Highly Commended for their Python IPA, Moor Ale, Hebden’s Wheat and Withens Pale Ale. The Python IPA is new to their bottled range. It is going to feature as beer writer Roger Protz’s ‘Beer of the Month’ for August. The company is also now exporting Withens Pale Ale and Hebden’s Wheat to Finland and is currently endeavouring to get their beers into the Swedish market as well as some others. All Little Valley beers are Bottle Conditioned (unfiltered), Organic or Vegan. The Ginger Pale Ale is also Fairtrade certified.
Cakes and Confectionery: Tideford Organic Food, Butterscotch rice pudding
The accolade will join the 50 plus awards that show Tideford’s commitment to quality and already adorn the mantlepiece at Tideford Organics’ HQ in Totnes, Devon. Seven of them are attributed to the Classic Rice Pudding made to a traditional recipe using organic south-west milk and cream. Tideford Organics’ Rice Puddings are available, as is the complete range of soups, sauces, pestos and puddings, in an ever-increasing number of supermarkets and independent stores in Great Britain, including selected branches of Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Tesco, and through online retailers Ocado and Abel & Cole.
Cereals: Waitrose, Duchy Originals from Waitrose, Oat and Apple Porridge
Dairy: Stichelton Dairy, Stichelton traditional raw milk blue cheese
Fruit and Vegetables: S.G. Danby & Sons and Abel & Cole, Chioggia Beetroot
Meat and Fish: Langley Chase, Organic Manx Loaghtan mutton
Non-alcoholic drinks: Tea Palace, Detox herbal infusion
An organic and refreshing blend of fennel, lemon grass and lemon peel, the detox blend helps to boost the metabolism, balance the digestive system and is a perfect accompaniment to a healthy diet. Also containing burdock root and cleavers, it improves circulation and aids lymphatic drainage. The tea is available at the company’s flagship store at Covent Garden Market, London (picture), and online at www.teapalace.com
Grove Fresh Ltd, organic traditional lemonade
Prepared Foods: Higher Hacknell Farm, Higher Hacknell Cottage Pie (picture)
Tim and Jo Budden have been working at Higher Hacknell Farm since 1985, which they converted to organic in 1988. The business was built around selling all the produce direct – at farmers markets and through mail order. Last year they won best meat category at the Organic Food Awards and have won producer of the year twice.
The company began making home-cooked meals using meat from the farm and marketing them to local people. The cottage pie stands out because everything is done by hand. In recent years they’ve been selling the products on their website. A lot of elderly people buy them, and they also supply to a couple of football teams – one of them in the premier league. They also supply their meals to a children’s centre and nursery.
Brocklebys, Chicken & Ham Pie
The company farms Hebridean Sheep and Longhorn Cattle on the Nottinghamshire/Leicestershire border near Melton Mowbray and make the world’s only Organic Melton Mowbray Pork Pie. After an inquiry by Abel and Cole about making an Organic Chicken and Ham Pie, they started production.
Store Cupboard Staples: Aspall, Aspall Organic White Wine Vinegar
Set in the unspoilt beauty of the Suffolk countryside, the 370 acre estate (picture) produces a wide range of quality vinegars, apple juice and traditional cider products. Aspall is a wholly family-owned business, and is the oldest direct lineage family cider business in Britain. Aspall has been run by eight generations of the Chevallier family. Their vinegar is bottled unpasteurised to ensure nutrient, flavour and aroma retention and a fuller natural flavour.
Aspall recently relaunched the vinegars following extensive consumer research over a six-month period which resulted in all their vinegar products being repackaged and rebranded to make them more convenient and attractive. The 6th generation of the Chevallier family at Aspall were founding members of the Soil Association in 1946 and remain committed to protecting the environment. Aspall orchards are all organic.
Wine and Spirits: Vinceremos Wines, Malbec Caligiore