Ed Smith encourages you to vote in the Urban Food Awards: a celebration of London’s producers and retailers
You may feel all voted out at the moment, but make sure you have your say in this year’s Urban Food Awards—the celebration of London’s food producing and retailing scene, which culminates at an Urban Food Feast held right here at Borough Market on 21st September.
The awards are run by the Mayor of London, London Food Link and Borough Market, with the aim of promoting and toasting those who provide Londoners with access to outstanding foods, harvested and produced within the city’s boroughs. The public vote closes on Friday 8th July, and we encourage you to support your favourite producers and food businesses.
It’s the third Urban Food Awards, and the second occasion on which the process culminates at the hub of London’s food scene, Borough Market. This is fitting given the Market’s desire to support local to London producers. “Great tasting food made with the highest sustainable values has a natural home at Borough Market,” says David Matchett, the Market’s development manager. “It’s clear that it’s an honour to partner with the Mayor’s office and London Food Link, and to play our part in showcasing the best of London’s thriving food production community.”
Borough Market regulars
There are 10 award categories, five each under the headers Produce and People. Eighty entrants are vying for recognition, including several Borough Market regulars: Bread Ahead for its cathedral loaf and raisin bread in the ‘Londoner’s loaf: plain’ and ‘Londoner’s loaf: special’ categories; Olivier’s Bakery for its rye bread in the ‘Londoner’s loaf: plain’ category; and Gourmet Goat in the ‘sustainable street food’ category.
Other categories designed to applaud enterprise and good practice in London’s many small food businesses include: ‘London leaves’, for growers that grow and sell their own salads; ‘proper preserves’, made from fruit or vegetables grown in London, or surplus product; ‘roots to work’, which celebrates organisations helping people learn the ropes of the food trade, by running training in growing, making or selling; and ‘Capital Growth’s growing enterprise’, for entrepreneurs generating income from and for their community food gardens.
Recognition and applause
All the categories and their entrants are fascinating, and you should take the opportunity to read about the products and businesses up for awards—it’s really inspiring to learn more about the thought and care that goes into making artisan food in the capital, and the ambitions and backgrounds of the people pushing the food scene forward in the right way. Access to quality, urban-produced food is improving all the time, and award processes and events like these are a superb way of recognising and applauding the people and businesses at the heart of it all.
As noted by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan: “London’s fantastic small food businesses are vital to our economy and to the vibrancy of our city. The choice of food on offer in the capital is more varied and exciting than ever before, with something for every taste and budget. I urge you to support your local food business and vote for your favourites in the 2016 Urban Food Awards.”