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Great Taste Awards – Welsh Winners 2013

(September 01, 2013)

Great Taste Awards – Welsh winners 2013

Mark Adams, from Corpulent Capers, discusses the demise of the Wales the True Taste/Cymru y Gwir Flas awards and sets out the Welsh winners of the UK-wide Great Taste Awards 2013 …

 True Taste AwardsWales the True Taste/Cymru y Gwir Flas awards Photo: Mark Adams of Corpulent Capers

August 7th, 2013 saw the publication of the results of the 2013 Great Taste Awards. We look at the success of Welsh producers in the Great Taste Awards and the demise of the Wales the True Taste Awards.

As late as December 2012 the Welsh Government was stating that "The Wales the True Taste brand plays a major part in creating awareness of Welsh food and drink amongst consumers."

On their website they said:

"Food and drink is important to Wales. Not only is it a big part of our daily life, it is a vital part of our culture and its agricultural production has formed much of our landscape. Nowadays the sector is a significant employer – over 55,000 people work in the industry.

The Wales the True Taste brand is managed by the Food and Market Development Division (FMDD) of the Welsh Government with the aim of promoting the very best of what this sector has to offer.

The creation of a credible Welsh food brand in the retail sector has enabled us to promote our produce not only within Wales but beyond our borders in the rest of the UK and abroad. Research shows that the Wales the True Taste logo is increasingly recognised by consumers and that the profile of Welsh food and drink is rising."

Wales the True Taste/Cymru y Gwir Flas awardsPhoto: Mark Adams of Corpulent Capers

Despite this there was no information coming from the Welsh Government during early 2013 about this year's True Taste Awards and rumour was rife that they would not be going ahead in 2013. Word on the street was that they would replaced by new awards primarily aimed at the larger food producers and that the smaller artisan producers would be ignored.

In July 2013 the end of True Taste was officially confirmed when Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies, said the current strategy to promote Welsh food and drink was "no longer fit for purpose" and a new scheme with growth targets would be published in the autumn.

He confirmed the True Taste Awards would be scrapped for not meeting the needs of the food industry and consumers, and replaced with a 'Food and Drink Wales' brand used at the International Food Exhibition this year.

One might question how something that is "increasingly recognised by consumers", has raised the profile of Welsh food and drink and has given producers a recognised mark of quality that has allowed them to increase sales would not meet their needs and that of the consumer.

WalesOnline quoted Mr Davies as saying: "I have decided that there will be no True Taste Awards in 2013. We will continue to develop the new 'Food and Drink Wales' branding that was used at the 2013 International Food Exhibition. This is a trade identity rather than a consumer brand and I believe that it is instantly recognisable, obviously Welsh and modern in approach. The provenance of Welsh food and drink is of paramount importance in branding and this should be clearly understood by the consumer."

So, with no True Taste Awards and no replacement for 2013, what's a small, Welsh artisan producer to do.

Well, quite a few of them entered the Great Taste Awards run by The Guild of Fine Food who, in fact, ran the judging for the True Taste Awards from 2004 to 2008.

The Great Taste Awards are much larger than the True Taste with over 10,000 products being entered this year. Entries appear to be open to any company selling a food or drink product in the UK. True Taste Awards winners were awarded traditional Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards, whereas Great Taste winners get 3, 2 or 1 star.

Ginger and fennel, Fredericks Chocolaterie

Winner, three stars: Fredericks Chocolaterie, Ginger and Fennel
Photographer: Hannah Bartlett, © Fredericks Chocolaterie

This year there were 3442 winning products from 1769 producers. The Guild awarded 2664 one star awards, 651 two star awards and 126 three star awards.

So how did the Welsh contingent fare in this competition? Well 86 products from 51 producers were awarded at least one star. In fact, Welsh producers won a total of 111 stars with 4 products winning the maximum of three stars, 17 winning two stars and 65 winning one star. Unfortunately I have no way of knowing how many Welsh producers entered.

Halen Môn Umami Sea SaltWinner, three stars: Halen Môn umami sea salt (www.halenmon.com),
developted jointly with Cynon Jones of The Mushroom Garden, Yr Ardd Fadarch (www.snowdoniamushrooms.co.uk)

Image: © Cwmni Halen Mor Môn - The Anglesey Sea Salt Co

Below, I’ve included a list of the products, their producers and the stars. (Note: there was no way that I could automatically extract the Welsh producers from the list automatically, so I trawled through all 3442 products looking at where their producers were based. If I missed you, then sorry, but drop me an email and I'll correct my list as soon as possible.) Considering the increased size of the competition they have all done fantastically well and are worthy winners. Congratulations to you all.

Welsh Lady Lemon Curd

Winner, three stars: Welsh Lady Preserves, Lemon Curd
 

So, consumers and producers, I have some questions for you:

Should Wales have its own awards again for its smaller producers? We know that Welsh produce and Welsh producers are good enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the UK, but do Welsh producers need some kind of geographical recognition too? Should we simply encourage all our producers to enter the Great Taste Awards, or should we encourage the Welsh Government, who to be fair have asked for input, to organise a revised competition guaranteeing support for the smaller producer and emphasizing their Welshness?

If the Welsh Government, now concentrating on a business growth strategy, doesn't want a new version of True Taste would you support an independent initiative to create a Welsh Food Award?

Please let us know what you think and we'll pass your comments on to Mark.

 

Product Name

Company

Stars

Ginger and Fennel

Fredericks Chocolaterie

3

Halen Môn Umami Sea Salt

The Anglesey Sea Salt Company Ltd

3

Organic Aberdeen Angus Rump Roasting Joint

Rhug Organic Farm

3

Lemon Curd

Welsh Lady Preserves

3

Chilli Lime Chutney

Miranda's Preserves Ltd

2

Blackcurrant Cheesecake

Blas ar Fwyd Cyf

2

Rack of Lamb

Cambrian Mountains Initiative

2

Coedcanlas Welsh Heather Honey

Coedcanlas

2

Crystallised Edible Flowers

Eat My Flowers

2

Extra Mature Welsh Sirloin Steak

Edwards of Conwy

2

Wholemeal Flour

Felin Talgarth Mill

2

Laverbread burger

Greta's Wholefoodies

2

Hafod Cheese

Holden Farm Dairy

2

Fig, Honey & Yogurt Ice cream

Hufenfa'r Castell

2

Poussin

Capestone Organic Poultry Ltd

2

Dragon Welsh Salted Butter

South Caernarfon Creameies Ltd

2

Llaeth-y-Llan, Probiotic Natural yogurt

Village Dairy Ltd/Llaeth-y-Llan Cyf

2

Celtica

The Great Orme Brewery

2

Buttery & Boozy Mincemeat

The Preservation Society

2

Welsh Honey Ice Cream

The Sweet Shop

2

Blood, wine & Chocolate Chorizo Salami

Trealy Farm Charcuterie

2

Welsh farmed gilled and gutted whole sea bass

Anglesey Aquaculture

1

Dark Fruit Chutney

Blas ar Fwyd

1

Lamb Lobscouse

Blas ar Fwyd

1

Beef Lobscouse

Blas ar Fwyd

1

Gold Beacons

Brecon Brewing

1

Leg of Lamb

Cambrian Mountains Initiative

1

Welsh Whisky Truffle

Cathryn Cariad Chocolates

1

Dragon-roasted Coffee Truffle

Cathryn Cariad Chocolates

1

Welsh Honey Truffle

Cathryn Cariad Chocolates

1

Merlyn Truffle

Cathryn Cariad Chocolates

1

Bara Brith

Cerdin Foods

1

Dark Chocolate Bar infused with Chilli

Chocolate Fusion

1

Sea-salt Caramel with Hazelnut

Chocolate Fusion

1

Coedcanlas Sicilian Lemon Marmalade

Coedcanlas

1

No. 8  Seville orange marmalade

Coedcanlas

1

Llanddarog Ale

Coles Family Brewery

1

Black Cherry Liqueur

Condessa Welsh Liqueurs

1

Crackin’ Chili and Cherry Tomato Jam

Cwrtau Bach Farm

1

Chilli, Orange and Cinnamon Ganache

Fredericks Chocolaterie

1

Spicy Mango Sorbet

Fire and Ice

1

Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Forte's Ice Cream

1

Gluten Free Gower Cottage Brownie

Gower Cottage Brownies

1

Curry Chickpea, Coriander and Coconut Burger

Greta's Wholefoodies

1

Hoki Poki Ice Cream

Hufenfa'r Castell

1

Lemon Cheese Cake Ice Cream

Hufenfa'r Castell

1

Llaeth-y-Llan Luxury layered probiotic yogurt – Red Berry

Village Dairy Ltd/Llaeth-Y-Llan Cyf

1

Raspberry Jam

Miranda’s Preserves Ltd

1

Sweet Beetroot Chutney

Miranda’s Preserves Ltd

1

Venison & Long Pepper Salami

Native Breeds Charcuterie

1

Mini Hog Roast

Neuadd Fach Baconry

1

Caramel & Pistachio Meringues

Ooomeringues

1

Spiced Nut Meringues

Ooomeringues

1

Raspberry Meringues

Ooomeringues

1

Heartsease Farm Traditional Lemonade

Radnor Hills Mineral Water Company Ltd

1

Blackcurrant & Vanilla Preserve

Radnor Preserves

1

White Pudding

Rhug Organic Farm

1

Organic Norfolk Bronze Turkey

Rhug Organic Farm

1

Organic Leg of Welsh Lamb

Rhug Organic Farm

1

All Butter Fudge

Siocled Moethus Sarah Bunton Luxury Chocolates

1

Welsh Black Minced Beef

Siop Fferm Glasfryn Farm Shop

1

Smoked Back Bacon

Siop Fferm Glasfryn Farm Shop

1

Orange Viennese Mince Pie

Siwgr A Sbeis

1

Organic Back Bacon

Slade Farm Organics

1

Date and Tamarind Chutney

Samosaco

1

OMG

The Blaenafon Cheddar Company Ltd

1

Apricot & Orange Chutney with Wychcroft Ale

The Patchwork Traditional Food Company

1

Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Chutney

The Patchwork Traditional Food Company

1

Candied Jalapenos

The Preservation Society

1

Pork & Leek Sausages

The Traditional Welsh Sausage Company Ltd

1

Traditional Pork Sausages

The Traditional Welsh Sausage Company Ltd

1

Cumberland Sausages

The Traditional Welsh Sausage Company Ltd

1

Tesco Finest Welsh Cakes

The Village Bakery (Wrexham)

1

The Village Bakery Welsh Cakes

The Village Bakery (Wrexham)

1

Ty Tanglwyst Salted Butter

Ty Tanglwyst Dairy

1

Ty Tanglwyst Dairy Double Cream

Ty Tanglwyst Dairy

1

Relishous

Usk River

1

Beetroot and Red Onion Relish

Usk River

1

Tango Mango Chutney

Usk River

1

Proper Pickle

Usk River

1

Pear Tree

Usk River

1

Three Fruits Marmalade

Welsh Lady Preserves

1

Welsh Chilli Chutney

Welsh Speciality Foods 1

Welsh Onion Marmalade

Welsh Speciality Foods

1

Mark Adams, August 2013

This article first appeared on Corpulent Capers, the Welsh food blog, as Welsh Great Taste Award Winners 2013 and Farewell to True Taste of Wales, in August 2013. Many thanks to Mark Adams for allowing us to reproduce it here.

Mark Adams' Corpulent Capers blog is at www.corpulentcapers.com
Follow Mark Adams on @gomezadams


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