Our sponsors not only fund and help judge these awards, but they are totally involved and committed to them – we simply couldn’t manage the awards without them and we want to say thank you …
Select a logo to view more information about our sponsors.
Sussex Food Producer of the Year
Sponsored by Southern Co-op, Simon Eastwood, Chief Operating Officer of Retail
2017 saw the 10th anniversary of Southern Co-op’s local sourcing programme, delivered to stores under the Local Flavours brand. As an independent regional retailer it is vital that we support our local economy in the areas in which we trade. We champion local producers and suppliers across our estate, from Kent to Devon, and we now have a local offer in around 80% of our stores.
We are proud to continue our sponsorship of the Sussex Food and Drink Awards; they give us the opportunity to get out into Sussex and meet innovative, artisan and passionate people… and try some wonderfully tasty fare too! Since we started sponsoring the awards we have gone on to work with several of the businesses we have met so it is not simply the winners who benefit from the awards. The Sussex Food & Drink Awards are a celebration of Sussex produce at its absolute best.
Sussex Farmers Market of the Year
Sponsored by Harveys, The Sussex Brewers, Lead Judge Miles Jenner, Joint Managing Director
I have long been passionate about the wonderful produce in our county and it makes such perfect sense to encourage people to buy what is grown on their doorstep. Farmers markets are a great showcase for local produce and often provide the first step for farmers and producers to sell their wares directly to local customers.
For over two centuries the name of ‘Harvey’ has been associated with the supply of the finest wines and beers throughout Sussex. Harvey and Son (Lewes) Ltd remains a privately owned family business (now in its seventh generation). Our proud traditions for the craft of brewing and the quality of our drink supplies have been augmented by the highest values of customer service.
Moreover, today the brewery has become something of a Sussex icon representing stability and integrity. Harveys is also delighted to be acknowledged equally for its local identity, environmental credentials, sympathetic architectural developments and local charitable activities.
Sussex Young Chef of the Year
Sponsored by Sodexo Prestige, Lead Judge Malcolm Emery, Principal Chef
We have been so impressed with the standard of cooking in the last few years, as well as the professionalism shown by all chefs. Last year all the menus produced were of outstanding quality and a difficult challenge for all the judges. I am delighted for the past winners, but I shall be watching the careers of all chefs with interest and have no doubt that they will all be hugely successful in the future. We are now looking forward to judging the 2018 awards.
Conference and event organisers can treat their delegates to mouth-watering menus at Brighton & Hove Albion FC’s Amex Stadium created by catering and hospitality partners Sodexo Prestige. Sodexo Prestige has won a host of accolades for catering at their two Premier league football clubs, Everton and Newcastle United as well as Ascot Racecourse. The Amex Stadium has a range of rooms with pitch and downland views, suitable for meetings, events, exhibitions and banquets of up to 500.
Sussex Food Shop of the Year
Sponsored by Wealden District Council, Lead Judge Councillor Roy Galley
Wealden District Council is committed to providing opportunities for all through supporting our local businesses and entrepreneurs, and promoting Wealden’s beautiful countryside as a sustainable resource for recreation, tourism and other rural enterprise.
Sussex has a wonderful array of local producers, Local Markets, farm shops, delicatessens and independent local shops. These awards are a fantastic way for us to celebrate this offering and those involved with the food and drink industry as we seek to encourage more local people to buy local produce.
Wealden District Council is delighted to be supporting the Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2018.
Sussex Eating Experience of the Year
Sponsored by Blakes Foods, Lead Judge Adrian Burr, Director
As quality meat suppliers, we at Blakes Foods are thrilled to be a part of this prestigious and established award category. We source our meat locally and provide it to so many fantastic eateries in the county; we can’t wait to see what is created. We feel it’s vital to recognise the talent of Sussex eating establishments for not only producing quality food but creating a fantastic atmosphere too.
Young Sussex Farmer of the Year
Sponsored by Plumpton College, Lead Judge David Lamb, Head of Faculty – AgriFood, Wine, Engineering & Environment
I am absolutely delighted to be judging this new award. I have been involved in both training and managing Agricultural Education at Plumpton College for a good number of years during which time I have seen some great young talent enter the sector. Many have developed their own businesses making significant contributions to the local economy. I can’t wait to meet the entrants and help showcase their successes!
Sussex Butcher of the Year
Sponsored by R P Meats Wholesale Ltd. Lead Judge Greg Thatcher, Director
As quality meat suppliers, we at RP Meats are excited to be a part of this prestigious and established award category. We source our meat locally and provide it to great butchers who are the face of the industry; it’s important that they are recognised for the work they put into making quality food accessible alongside great customer service.
Sussex Newcomer of the Year
Co-sponsored by Kreston Reeves, Lead Judge Adrian Pearce, Partner
It is vital that we support and encourage new business start-ups in farming, food and drink production and across retail and hospitality that supports local fare. We have been proud sponsors of Sussex Farmer of the Year for the last three years and are very much looking forward to getting thoroughly immersed in this important category for the second year running.
Sussex Street Food of the Year
Sponsored by Horsham District Foodies, Lead Judge Councillor Peter Burgess, Deputy Chairman of Horsham District Council
We have worked long and hard to promote the wealth of local food and drink producers in our district and are supporting the Sussex Street Food of the Year for the second year running because of its popularity, which inspires people to buy, eat and cook local ingredients.
Sussex Street Food of the Year
Organised by Simon and Amy at Food Rocks
We are supporting The Sussex Food & Drink Awards because they share our philosophy and our desire to celebrate and promote the vast array of wonderful food and drink producers throughout the county. We are very excited to be involved in the Street Food of the Year Award for its third year. The Sussex Street food scene is bursting with passionate chefs preparing incredible dishes of every imaginable cuisine and we can’t wait to once again taste this amazing array of food cooked from local, seasonal ingredients and served in style from converted trucks and bespoke stalls.
Sussex Drink Producer of the Year
Sponsored by Natural PR, Lead Judge Paula Seager, Managing Director
I am passionate about local produce and launched these awards 12 years ago to help boost the local market for Sussex produce. Now the market has grown enormously and local food and drink is more fashionable than ever, but we can’t be complacent and our work to promote our fantastic Sussex produce and help grow consumers’ awareness of the provenance of their food and drink must continue.
Natural PR is a team of strategic public relations experts who can help you to communicate naturally in the language and style your business or consumer audience understands and responds to positively. We provide PR services to businesses large and small, public and private, consumer-facing and business to business, usually based in or active in the South East.
Young Sussex Farmer of the Year
In association with Farmers Weekly, Karl Schneider, Editorial Director
It’s great to be supporting the Sussex Food & Drink Awards, which helps us get to know the county and seek out local farming talent. Sussex is a superb county which demonstrates real innovation in the land-based industries and we are looking forward to finding some outstanding champions for British farming here this year.
Sussex Newcomer of the Year
Co-sponsored by Sussex Food and Drink Network, as explained by Hilary Knight, Director
The Sussex Food and Drink Awards provides an opportunity to reward local businesses and celebrate excellence in terms of produce, quality, innovation and customer service. This is key to ensuring a healthy rural economy which supports the landscape, community and its visitors.
The Sussex Food and Drink Network is an independent network for Local Food and Drink Producers, Retailers, Wholesalers and Hospitality Providers with a common interest in local sourcing and the local supply chain. Our aim is to inform, educate and promote the benefits of supporting our vibrant local food and drink producers for the local economy and environment.
Chairman of Judges
William Goodwin, Independent Chairman of the Judges and prominent Sussex farmer and Nuffield Scholar, advocate of local food and drink, supporting the Sussex Food and Drink Awards.
One of the many things that sets these awards apart is the quality and integrity of the judging. We take huge care and go through several stages of judging on each category and I am always extremely impressed by the amount of work and serious dedication that our judges take to ensure that all entries are judged well and fairly.