Food Programme presenter Sheila Dillon, along with head judge and chef Asma Khan, presented the Best Food Producer award

Community food efforts recognised in BBC awards

Shops selling sustainable, affordable food, inspiring community food volunteers and pioneering regenerative farmers were all recognised in annual food and farming awards.

Social enterprise food shops, regenerative food producers and people embedded in their local food communities were celebrated at this years BBC Food and Farming Awards recognising pioneers in both areas from across the country.

Best Food Producer went to Tablehurst Community Farm, a social enterprise, farm shop and biodynamic farm in Sussex, which presenter Sheila Dillon, of Radio 4’s The Food Programme, could provide “a model for all”.

Family-run mint tea producer Summerdown won Best Drinks Producer for its tea made with high quality Black Mitcham peppermint, presented by Jaega Wise.

The Farming for the Future award, presented by Farming Today‘s Charlotte Smith, went to arable and sheep farmer Jake Freestone, for regenerative practices including minimised ploughing, and using his livestock to restore nature and soil health and replace fertiliser.

Best Market or Shop was presented by campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and the Food Programme’s Layla Kazim, and won by Scottish community shop Locavore, which has five sites across Scotland and helps to supply locally-sourced and sustainably-produced food to communities.

Describing the work of Locavore, plus other finalists in the category including EMS in Hull and Mini Miss Bread in Essex, Fearnley-Whittingstall said a successful enterprise in the category “takes a bit of the local landscape into your home, via their shop”, while Kazim highlighted how EMS in particular is “very quietly making a massive difference to thousands of people’s lives”.

Best Streetfood or Takeaway went to the duo Suzy Simpson and Paul Thomson behind Celtic Cabin, in Barmouth, west Wales, which cooks fresh, healthy seafood wraps on the beach.

Meanwhile the Food Innovation award went to sensory food education project, TastEd, which is revolutionising how food is taught in schools by using the senses to introduce children to fruit and veg in a positive way.

The international winner in the BBC World Service‘s Global Youth Champion category went to Kenyan food educator Samuel Ikua, who trains a network of urban farmers in Nairobi.

The special Derek Cooper Outstanding Achievement Award went to Tim Spector, for “changing the game on communicating nutrition science”, and how food is perceived within medicine.

In acknowledgement of the awards taking place in Wales for the first time, the BBC Cymru Wales Food Hero Award went to 82-year-old Mair Bowen for 15 years of voluntary work and preparing meals for the residents of Kilgetty, in West Wales.

The winner of the Young Countryside Champion award will be presented on Countryfile on 13 November.


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