Posted: 26/11/2013

BBC seeks successor to Westcombe as ‘Best Food Producer’

With entries to the BBC Food & Farming Awards due to open on January 5, celebrity chef and chair of judges Raymond Blanc has called for more artisan producers to enter the scheme.

Last year saw Tom Calver of Somerset’s Westcombe Dairy (pictured) named joint winner in the Best Food Producer category alongside Suffolk’s Pump Street Bakery.

Blanc said the annual BBC awards – which also recognise retailers, caterers and food campaigners in a total of 11 categories – reached a radio and TV of millions and were “fantastic recognition for people doing outstanding work”.

“Each year I’m impressed by the growing number of producers, from cheese-makers to bakers, drinks to charcuterie, all working at such a high level,” he said, “and just as important are the farm shops, markets and delis who are reaching more and more customers.”

Blanc will be joined on this year’s judging panel by a team that includes Valentine Warner, Richard Corrigan, Victoria Moore, Pete Brown and Charles Campion.

The scheme is also being re-launched with a new venue and a change of timing. Presented in recent years at November’s BBC Good Food Show, the 2014 award ceremony will take place in Bristol on May 1 as part of a new 10-day food festival in the city, with coverage following shortly after on BBC Radio 4 and on BBC1’s Countryfile.

Businesses can nominate themselves, or encourage customers to send in a nomination, from January 5, through the website. Entries close at midnight on January 27.

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