Guild of Fine Food creates start-up bursary for Great Taste accreditation

The Guild of Fine Food is marking the 30th anniversary of its Great Taste accreditation scheme in offering 50 micro producers the chance to put one new product in front of its expert panel of Great Taste judges for free, writes Neill Barston.

As organisers explained to Confectionery Production, the offer It’s an opportunity for any food and drink producer, including those within confectionery and snacks segments, to have its products assessed by chefs, buyers, food writers and retailers. Currently, the awards scheme is open for entries from members of the Guild of Fine Food, with general entries opening on 23 January 2023, with applications required by 7 February.

According to the organisation, the new bursary is aimed at micro producers who have never entered Great Taste before or have a new product, which has never been entered before. Our bursary panel, consisting of Adrian Boswell, buyer at Selfridges, industry commentator and food entrepreneur Mallika Basu, and PR & marketing expert AJ Sharp, will select the 50 most eligible entries.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food comments“Here at the Guild, we are proud to be celebrating the 30 years of Great Taste. Since its inception the accreditation scheme has celebrated and helped excellent food & drink. We’ve always been about working with businesses across the industry and our activities have an ecosystem of scaled entry costs that mean our biggest entrants also support our smallest ones.

“It’s true, though, that the micro producers often need more help, especially with the current economic headwinds, and that is why we are excited to be launching the Great Taste Bursary. By helping fledging makers, we continue the great work that our team, our judges, and the sector is doing to nurture start-ups and innovative new businesses.  It will encourage and help the very smallest makers to enter, receive constructive feedback and, hopefully, receive affirmation that they are making top-notch food & drink.”

“If our bursary candidates go on to achieve an award, they will be able to display it on packaging and benefit from support and kudos which comes with a Great Taste award. If they are not successful, our rigorous judging process provides every entrant with impartial, honest feedback from industry experts. And that is incredibly valuable.”

Each year, over 2,300 artisan producers from the UK and across the globe enter their most prized products into Great Taste to receive the all-important judges’ feedback. Some go on to receive an award too, either 1-, 2-, or 3-star; the latter is the highest global accolade based entirely on taste.

Eligible micro producers must:

  • Be less than two years old
  • Have a turnover of less than £100,000
  • Only enter one product per business (that hasn’t been entered in Great Taste before)
  • Be commercially available in the UK

The application form can be found here: Applications must be in by 7 February 2023.

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