Weetabix aims to lift the quality of life long term in Northamptonshire through a new Farming Environment award at the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards.
It will celebrate the achievements of local wheat growers in reducing the environmental impact of growing this vital Weetabix ingredient and staple crop.
John Petre, Supply Chain, Procurement and Technical Director at headline sponsor Weetabix welcomed everyone to the awards launch at The Falcon in Castle Ashby, one of the two Booker Dining Venue Gold Winners of 2021.
He announced the new category aimed at celebrating the work of the members of the Weetabix Growers’ Group, who provide wheat from within a 50 mile radius of the Burton Latimer site.
“The Farming Environment Award is an exciting new category, along with the Healthy Food and Wellbeing Award sponsored by Delapre Abbey – both of which capture the importance of sustainability. Weetabix is proud to once again be the headline sponsor for the Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards and we look forward to supporting the sector by celebrating the sector,” John added.
Weetabix, supporting for their third year, is joined by existing category sponsors Booker, British Pepper & Spice, Daily Bread, Whitco, Heygates Flour and Animal Feed, Howes Percival LLP, Moulton College and Whitworth Bros Ltd Flour Millers.
Sally West, Corporate Consumer Service Manager at Weetabix asked Zak Perrin, Owner and chef of The Falcon Inn (Fotheringhay) and last year’s Gold award winner, what the Awards had meant to him.
Zak said: “Winning Gold at the Food and Drink Awards is my proudest achievement in my career. It’s been a great thing for the business and for myself personally. It has also opened my eyes to the producers we have on our doorstep locally and a great network.”
Another previous Gold award winner, Simon Derrick from Blue Skies who picked up the Sustainability Award was also present at the launch and when asked how aware he was of the wider food and drinks sector in the county and its breadth.
Simon responded with: “I have always been aware of a strong food and drink sector in Northamptonshire but I don’t think I was ever aware of just how much is here. You really get a sense of the passion, enthusiasm and the skills, whether it’s the restaurants, food producers, or local pubs. The enthusiasts you have around food and drink in this county is amazing and I think we need to do more to celebrate that and to champion it across the county and further afield.”
The full details of the latest competition were revealed by Awards Director, Rachel Mallows MBE, at the launch. Rachel announced a change to the Café award which this year is supported by The Good Loaf, a category now named Community Café of the Year to celebrate great Cafes and Tea Rooms that also support their local communities.
Rachel said: “We are asking our foodies of the county to buy local, shop local and eat locally and help the sector not just recover, but thrive after the past two years.”
The free-to-enter categories in this year’s Awards (with their respective sponsors) are:
Artisan Local Drink of the Year
Artisan Local Product of the Year (Heygates Flour and Animal Feed)
Artisan Local Vegetarian / Vegan Product of the Year (Daily Bread)
Booker Dining Venue of the Year (Booker)
Booker Young Chef of the Year (Booker)
Community Café of the Year (Supported by The Good Loaf)
Farming Environment Award (Weetabix Growers Group)
F&B Achiever of the Year (Howes Percival LLP)
Food and Drink College Student of the Year
Healthy Food and Wellbeing Award (Delapré Abbey)
Local Food Hero of the Year (Moulton College)
One To Watch (Whitworth Bros. Ltd Flour Millers)
Weetabix Sustainability Award (Weetabix)
Whitco Chef of the Year (Whitco)
World Cuisine Restaurant of the Year (British Pepper & Spice)
The results of the competition, which will again see finalists awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze,
will be announced at the Awards celebrations taking place on 20th October 2022 at The Royal & Derngate Theatre.
For more details on all the categories in the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2022/23, including downloading entry and nomination forms, please visit the Awards’ website – www.northamptonshirefoodanddrink.co.uk – or call Sophie on 01933 664437 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow the Awards on Facebook at @foodawards or Twitter and Instagram at @foodawardsHQ or on LinkedIn at @weetabixnfadawards