News

Press release: August 2017

Officially the Tastiest Soft Fruit in Kent

The Taste of Kent Awards 2018, organised by Produced in Kent, has begun with the first category, the Garden of England Champion tastiest soft fruit and cherry, judged at the National Cherry and Soft Fruit Show at the Kent County Show, Friday 7 July.

Judged on taste alone by both professionals from the industry and members of the public the winning varieties and growers for this year are:

Cherries – Class 60 winner Brian Piper, Filmers Farm, Loose, Nr Maidstone with the variety Karina.

Strawberries – Class 70 winner John Myatt & Co, Mockbegger Farm, Rochester with the strawberry variety Magnum.

Raspberries –  Class 80 winner John Myatt & Co, Mockbegger Farm Rochester with the Raspberry variety Tulameen.

Read the full article here

Winners Announced for the 2017 Taste of Kent Awards!

You can read all about the winners of the 2017 awards here

 

 

 

Press Release: 15 September 2016

Public voting now open for the 2017 Taste of Kent Awards

Produced in Kent’s prestigious T are now in full swing. Public voting was officially opened last night (Wednesday 14 September) at a launch reception at Allington Castle, Kent.

The reception, sponsored by from Teynham near Sittingbourne, brought together previous winners, award sponsors and Kent foodies to celebrate the launch of the awards, now in their thirteenth year. Guests were given the opportunity to tour the castle, followed by canapés and a drinks reception.

Read the full article here:

Press release: 15 July 2016

Tastiest Soft Fruit in Kent

The Taste of Kent Awards 2017, organised by Produced in Kent, has officially begun. Kick-starting the awards, the Garden of England Champion tastiest soft fruit and cherry category was judged at the National Cherry and Soft Fruit Show at the Kent Show, Friday 8 July.

Sponsored for the very first time by the Kent County Agricultural Society, the category highlights Kent’s tastiest soft fruits. Lucy Hegarty, Show Manager from the Kent County Agricultural Society said “We are proud to be supporting this award. It’s the perfect fit for us as it’s judged at the Kent County Show. As a charity we continue to engage with the rural community and support them in a variety of ways throughout the year”. Judged on taste alone by both professionals from the industry and members of the public the winning varieties and growers for this year are:

Cherries – Class 60 winner A.C. Hulme & Son, Nr Canterbury with their Georgia variety
Strawberries – Class 70 winner Robert Boucher & Son, Sittingbourne with their Jubilee variety
Raspberries – Class 80 winner Total Berry (trial site) grown at Runwood Green Farm, Langley, Maidstone with their Paragon variety. This new variety has been bred for its flavour and will be available in the Autumn

 

Press release: 11 January 2016

Finalists announced for The Taste of Kent Awards 2016

The wait is finally over, the finalists for The Taste of Kent Awards 2016 are revealed today (Monday 11 January). From over 500 Kent nominated businesses, the top three with the most public votes from each category will now enter the final stages, with the hope of being crowned the winner on 3 March 2016.

 

Press Release: 30 November 2015

Have you voted for your favourite yet? Taste of Kent Awards 2016

As the festive season approaches, it is almost impossible to avoid indulging your taste buds with delicious food and drink from around the county. So if you happen to stumble upon a new favourite Kentish producer, why not show your appreciation and cast your votes in Kent’s most popular food and drink awards, The Taste of Kent Awards 2016. Nearly 500 businesses have already been nominated, make sure you add your favourites to the list!

 

Press Release: 22 October 2015

Winners of the Taste of Kent Awards Top Fruit Category Announced

The winners of Produced in Kent’s Taste of Kent Awards 2016, Garden of England Champions Top Fruit Category, sponsored by BTF Partnership, was announced today (22 October) at the National Fruit Show at the Kent County Show Ground.

Produced in Kent’s panel of public judges tasted 95 apples and 33 pears from those on display at the National Fruit Show. Judges were required to rank the fruits’ flavour, juiciness and crispness, with the top 10 apples and top five pears going through to a second round taste off before an overall winner was selected.

The winners are:

Garden of England Champions Top Apple: Cameo
Tony Frankham, from Newmafruit, Chartham

Tony comments: “This is the first year that we have entered Newmafruit apples into the Taste of Kent Awards and we are delighted that our Cameos have been voted the Garden of England Champions Top Apple. As the largest European grower of Cameo apples, the Taste of Kent Awards is a great opportunity for us to showcase the new clones of Cameo and this win is a real testament to the team at Newamafruit who worked so hard to develop the tastiest apple in Kent.”

 

Garden of England Champions Top Pear: Concorde
David Stevens, from Lower Halstow

David comments: “We are delighted that our Concorde pears have won the Taste of Kent Awards for the second time in 3 years. The fact that the Concorde pear has won the Taste of Kent Awards three years in a row highlights the popularity of this variety in Kent.”

Stephanie Durling at Produced in Kent comments: “Once again the standard of entries is very high but whilst the judges at The National Fruit show are choosing winners based on how they look, we are only interested in how they taste. The British public are great supporters of the UK’s apple growers and munch their way through approx. 130,000 tonnes of apples each year, a figure which is steadily rising and many of which are grown here in Kent.”

Tom French at BTF Partnership comments: “We are delighted to sponsor the Taste of Kent Awards, Top Fruit categories. This is the middle of the British apple and pear harvest season and we are hearing reports of an abundant harvest all around, but fair pricing and premium quality will be crucial for growers to give them the margins they need. This is an important award as it ranks the fruit on taste alone which is so important to the public. There are so many fantastic apples to taste here at the show but these winning varieties really stood out.”

Public voting for the Taste of Kent Awards 2016 is now open. To cast your vote simply visit www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk before 4 January 2016. The awards presentation dinner will take place in March 2016.

 

Press Release: 17 September 2015

 Public voting now open for the 2016 Taste of Kent Awards

Produced in Kent’s prestigious Taste of Kent Awards 2016 are now in full swing. Public voting was officially opened last night (Wednesday 16 September) at a launch reception at Hush Heath Winery in Staplehurst, Kent.

The reception, sponsored by Moor Organic Juice, brought together previous winners, award sponsors and Kent foodies to celebrate the launch of the awards, now in their twelfth year. Guests were given the opportunity to tour the vineyard and winery, followed by canapés and a drinks reception with wine and cider supplied by the Hush Heath Estate.

During the evening Richard Balfour-Lynn, owner of the vineyard that hosted the evening,  spoke about the history of the vineyard and its future and inspiration was also drawn from talks given by previous winners Kingcott Cheese, Chegworth Valley and AMC Foods, on how winning a Taste of Kent Award has benefited and transformed their businesses.

The Taste of Kent Awards, organised by Produced in Kent to showcase Kent’s finest food and drink products, provides the general public with a unique opportunity to have their say and vote for their favourite producers, retailers, restaurants, dining pubs and farmers’ markets. To cast your vote simply visit before the public vote closes on 4th January 2016. This year it is expected more than 16,000 votes will be cast, as the awards have grown year on year in popularity and support.

James Beatton a partner at Cripps the awards Main Sponsor, comments:  “Cripps is proud to be the main sponsor of the Taste of Kent Awards for the fifth consecutive year. The awards are truly a celebration of all that is good about Kent’s flourishing food & drink sector, a sector which is very important to our business. Each year we have been delighted to be involved and look forward to sampling the entries for 2016!”

Stephanie Durling at Produced in Kent, comments: “Following the all-important initial public vote, the three finalists in each category open for public voting will go forward to be judged by mystery shoppers and diners or an expert judging panel, to find the ultimate ‘food and drink heroes’. The awards presentation dinner will take place in March 2016 at the Kent Event Centre, Detling.”

Stephanie Durling continues:

“Drink producers are judged by a separate panel, including Best Kentish Wine and Best Kentish Beer and Best Kentish Cider or Perry. Kent’s producers and manufacturers are also able to submit their products in the self-nominating category the Kent Food Product Classes. Full details are available on .”

The Best Kent Juice Producer for the first time this year will be subjected to a site visit by the judges, together with tasting of their range of juices.

In addition to the online voting at , voters can pick up a voting form lots of farmers’ markets & retailers,  or direct from Produced in Kent, tel. 01732 853170.

The Taste of Kent Awards main sponsor is Cripps LLP, with media support from insideKENT.

This year’s categories open for public voting, are as follows:

 Kent Butcher’s Shop of the Year, sponsored by Stephens

A retailer selling a good range of Kent produced meat.  They will be required to provide evidence of traceability to substantiate this for judging.

Kent Beer of the year, sponsored by Rix & Kay Solicitors

Beer produced predominantly from hops grown in Kent at a brewery based in Kent.

 Kent Wine of the Year, sponsored by Eurostar

Wine produced from grapes predominantly grown in Kent, Sussex, Essex or Surrey at a winery based in Kent.

 Kent Cider or Perry of the Year, sponsored by Wilkins Kennedy FKC

Cider or Perry made from apples or pears predominantly grown in Kent at a business based in

Kent.

 Kent Juice Producer of the Year, sponsored by AC Goatham & Son

Producer of fruit juice made from made from fruit predominantly grown in Kent at a business based in Kent.

Kent Local Food Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Opies

The retailer must sell a wide range of Kent produce/products.  They will be required to provide details of the suppliers and product range for judging.

Kent Fishmonger of the Year, sponsored by The University of Kent

A retailer selling a good range of Kent caught fish.  They will be required to provide evidence of traceability to substantiate this for judging.

Kent Food Producer of the Year, sponsored by Shopper Anonymous

A business that makes a food product using ingredients sourced from Kent where possible.

Kent Restaurant of the Year, sponsored by Thompson, Snell & Passmore

The restaurant must actively use Kent produce and products where and when available and demonstrate this commitment in menus and marketing.

Kent Dining Pub of the Year, sponsored by Page & Wells

Must actively use produce/products, beer, cider and juices when available from within Kent and demonstrate this commitment in menus & marketing.

Kent Farmers’ Market of the Year, sponsored by Hadlow College

The market must be a current member of the Kent Farmers’ Market Association (KFMA).

Other awards, not open for public voting, are:

 Kent Food Product Classes, sponsored by Shepherd Neame

(5 classes in this category) Producers can enter their own products into one of 5 classes. This must be a product available in retailers and/or caterers made from Kent primary produce that has undergone a value added process over and above just being re-packaged.

 Best Kent Food Product of the Year, sponsored by HSBC

A product selected by the judging panel as the overall winner from the entries in all the Kent Food Product Classes.

 Kent Countryside Award, sponsored by Kent Downs and High Weald AONBs

This stand-alone award gives farmers, and food and drink producers, the opportunity to enter their own farms and businesses directly into the competition visit for more information.

 Garden of England Champions – Cherry & Soft Fruit, sponsored by EMR

Three categories: Cherry, Strawberries and Raspberries

Judged on taste by both professionals from the industry and members of the public at the Kent County Show, July 2015 and amazingly the winner of all three categories was John Myatt & Co of Cliffe Woods:

Cherries – Vanda variety

Strawberries – Magnum variety

Raspberries – Tulamen variety

 Garden of England Champions – Top Fruit, sponsored by BTF Partnership

The winners of Produced in Kent’s Taste of Kent Awards 2016 Garden of England Champion Top Fruit Category, sponsored by BTF Partnership, will be announced in October at the National Fruit Show at Kent County Show Ground.

All Kentish apples & pears entered into the competitions will automatically by entered into the Taste of Kent Awards Top Fruit categories and will be taste tested and announced at the show.

The deadline for entering fruit in the National Fruit show is 1st October.

BBC COUNTRYFILE’S MATT BAKER SELECTS TASTE OF KENT AWARDS 2016 TASTIEST CHERRY WINNER

BBC Countryfile presenter Matt Baker kicked off the start of the Taste of Kent Awards 2016, by judging the Garden of England Champion Tastiest Cherry grown by a Kent grower at the Kent County Show on Friday 10 July 2015.

There were over 40 entries for the Taste of Kent Awards soft fruit and cherry classes this year, the largest number of entries since the award, sponsored by East Malling Research commenced three years ago.

Kent’s tastiest cherry, tastiest strawberry and tastiest raspberry were chosen at the National Cherry & Soft Fruit Show, and this year, one farmer hit the jackpot winning all three awards. John Myatt & Co who farms at Cliffe Woods, near Rochester, was announced the winner for their strawberry variety Magnum, their raspberry variety Tulamen and their cherry variety Vanda.

John Myatt from J. Myatt & Co of Mockbeggar Farm near Rochester, Kent, said “We are absolutely delighted to have our fruit selected to win all three classes for the Taste of Kent Awards Garden of England Champion category this year. These classes are particularly important to our farm as we always select particular varieties and pick at the optimum time to ensure the flavour is always at its best. We are a supplier to Marks & Spencer particularly because of the flavour of our fruit. The work that Produced in Kent are doing through these awards is to be commended and very valuable to the industry”

Dr Mark Else, Science Programme Leader at East Malling Research (EMR) comments: “Congratulations to the winner. Winning all three fruit categories takes a huge amount of dedication and an extremely high level of attention to detail. We are delighted with this clear winner – clearly a business at the top of their game!”

Paul Kelsey, Chairman of the National Cherry & Soft Fruit Show said “We are delighted to see the growth in the number of entries in these Taste of Kent Awards classes this year. This clearly justifies the collaboration between the National Cherry & Soft Fruit Show and Produced in Kent, the organisers of the Taste of Kent Awards, to raise awareness of Kentish fruit.

BBC’s Countryfile programme was filming at the Kent Show for its Summer Special episode to be shown on Sunday 26th July, including filming the live preparation of a cherry salsa recipe with Dan Kennedy of the Kent Cookery School in the Produced in Kent area.

Matt Baker said, when interviewed by Adam Dowling on BBC Radio Kent’s Drive Time programme that evening said: “I had the honour of judging the tastiest cherry, oh the secrecy of cherry judging! I had three punnets in front of me and I was there for about half an hour but I had to make a decision. There were fireworks going off in my mouth” (17.30 Friday 10th July Radio Kent).

Stephanie Durling from Produced in Kent said: “We are absolutely thrilled that for the first time we have one soft fruit grower scooping all three awards. These awards are always such a ringing endorsement for soft fruit and cherry farmers across Kent. The involvement of Countryfile has been an added bonus for us and we are delighted that Matt Baker was able to be a part of the award this year.”

The Taste of Kent Awards has been running since 2004 and are recognised as the outstanding annual showcase for Kent food and drink. The awards promote a wide range of categories and are open to all food and drink businesses across Kent. The campaign begins each year with the commencement of public voting between September and early January. This year it is expected in excess of 16,000 votes will be cast, which has been increasing year on year, clearly demonstrating that more and more consumers are buying Kent products and are interested in supporting local businesses.

The winning growers will formally receive their award at the Taste of Kent Awards Gala dinner, which takes place in March 2016.

 

 

to read about the 2015 winners!

 

 

Press Release: 20 October 2014

 

Winners of the Taste of Kent Awards Garden of England Champion – Top Fruit Announced

 

The winners of Produced in Kent’s Taste of Kent Awards 2015 Garden of England Champion Top Fruit Category, sponsored by BTF Partnership, was announced on Thursday 16 October at the National Fruit Show at Kent County Show Ground.

 

Produced in Kent’s panel of public judges tasted 134 apples and pears from 13 varieties of apple and four varieties of pear on display at the National Fruit Show. Judges were required to rank the fruits’ flavour, juiciness and crispness, with the top 10 apples and top five pears going through to a second round before finding an overall winner.

 

The winners are:

 

Simon Bray – Winner, Bernie Cranfield – Brogdale Collections, Richard Thomas – BTF

Garden of England Champion  – Top Apple: Jazz Variety

Simon Bray, Monks Farm, Norton, Nr Sittingbourne

Entered NFS apple class 15 (Jazz variety). (Simon also entered in the Braeburn and any other dessert apple classes).

 

Simon Bray comments: “We are delighted to win the Garden of England Champion for Kent’s tastiest apple with our Jazz variety, a truly excellent club apple which has a lovely crunch and a superb tangy sweet flavour. It is reassuring to know that it can compete with the more well known varieties such as Gala and Braeburn and hopefully will encourage consumers to try a new type of apple.”

 

 

Richard Thomas – BTF, Richard Edmed – Winner and Tim Thatcher – BTF

Garden of England Champion  – Top Pear: Concorde Variety

Clive and Richard Edmed, Horsmonden, Tonbridge

Entered NFS pear class 15 (Concorde). (Clive and Richard also entered in both Bramley classes, Kanzi, both Cox’s Orange Pippin, Russet, Cameo, any other dessert, Comice pear, Conference pear, Concorde, and any other pear class).

 

Richard Edmed comments: “We are thrilled our Concorde pears have been awarded the prize for the tastiest pears in Kent by the Taste of Kent Awards. The Concorde combines the best features of the Conference and Comice varieties giving it an excellent full flavour, and this year’s dry, warm and sunny season has provided perfect growing conditions for this year’s harvest.”

 

Stephanie Durling at Produced in Kent comments: “Congratulations to the winners, the competition this year has been extremely close once again. Whilst supermarkets continue to focus on fruit appearance, the Garden of England Champion Top Fruit category is all about finding the tastiest apples and pears in Kent. The fruit on display at the show looked amazing and we focused our judges’ attention on the flavour of the fruit alongside the crispness and the juiciness of the fruit. We were delighted with the success of the new Taste of Kent Awards Garden of England Champion categories when they were introduced in 2014 and the 2015 award has been equally successful.”

 

Richard Thomas, Partner at BTF Partnership comments: “We are delighted once again to sponsor these awards and the quality of fruit is certainly excellent thanks to a bumper harvest for Top Fruit Growers. Whilst it might be a tougher than average year for growers because of lower prices in the market, we hope English shoppers will recognise the great flavour and quality of English top fruit and look out for it when shopping.”

 

Public voting for the Taste of Kent Awards 2015 is now open. To cast your vote simply visit before 2 January 2015. The awards presentation dinner will take place on 12 March 2015 at the Kent Events Centre at the Kent Showground.

 

Guided tour of Winterdale Cheesemakers at the Taste of Kent Awards launch event.

Press Release: 02 October 2014

Public voting now open for the 2015 Taste of Kent Awards

Produced in Kent’s prestigious Taste of Kent Awards 2015 are now in full swing. Public voting was officially opened last night (1 October) at the awards’ brand new launch reception at Winterdale Cheesemakers’ cheese barn in Wrotham.

The reception, sponsored by Moor Organic Juice, brought together previous winners, award sponsors and Kent foodies to celebrate the launch of the eleventh year of the awards. Guests were given the opportunity to tour the cheese barn, followed by canapés and a drinks reception with wine and cider supplied by Kent’s Hush Heath Estate.

James Beatton a partner at Cripps the awards Main Sponsor, comments: “Cripps is very proud to be the main sponsor of the Taste of Kent Awards again. Food and Drink is a key part of the Kent economy and one of the main sectors in our business.  The awards shine a light on both the sector and the county and provide a showcase for the quality of produce and service on offer from the entrants. I am sure that this year we will build on the successes of previous events. I can’t wait for the judging/tasting day!!”

From left: Jason Lavender – High Weald AONB, Ed Martin – Produced in Kent, Andrew Lingham – Court Farm Butchery & Country Larder, Chris Reynolds – Kent Downs AONB

During the evening inspiration was drawn from talks given by previous winners Robin Betts, Winterdale Cheesemakers, Andrew Lingham from Court Farm Butchery, and Matthew Kearsey-Lawson, Kent Fine Foods on how winning a Taste of Kent Award has benefited and transformed their businesses.

The Taste of Kent Awards, organised by Produced in Kent to showcase Kent’s finest food and drink products, provides the general public with a unique opportunity to hand pick and vote for their favourite producers, retailers, restaurants, dining pubs and farmers’ markets. To cast your vote simply visit www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk before the public vote closes on 2 January 2015.

Stephanie Durling at Produced in Kent, comments: “If you have had a good meal in a pub or restaurant or enjoyed some delicious Kentish produce, then show your appreciation and cast your vote. The award categories have grown year on year and now feature everything the Garden of England is renowned for.”

Following the all-important initial public vote, the three finalists in each category will go forward to be judged by mystery shoppers and diners or an expert judging panel to find the ultimate ‘food and drink heroes’. The awards presentation dinner will take place on 12 March 2015 at the Kent Events Centre at the Kent Showground.

Stephanie continues: “Each year we receive more and more votes, with Kent foodies demonstrating great support for local products. For the outstanding businesses that win an award, it is an acknowledgement of their status as one of the county’s ‘food and drink heroes’ and a stamp of approval from consumers in Kent.”

Kent’s producers and manufacturers are also able to submit their products in the self-nominating category the Kent Food Product Category Award. Drink producers are judged by a separate panel, including Best Kentish Wine and Best Kentish Beer, Best Kent Juice Producer and Best Kentish Cider or Perry. Full details are available on www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk.

In addition to the online voting at www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk, voters can pick up a voting form from their nearest farmers’ market or direct from Produced in Kent, tel. 01732 853170.

The Taste of Kent Awards main sponsor is Cripps LLP, with media support from insideKENT and the KM Group.

 

 

Press Release: 14th July 2014

Garden of England Champions – Soft Fruit and Cherries category winners announced!

The Taste of Kent Awards 2015, organised by Produced in Kent, has begun with the announcement of the winners of the Garden of England Champions – Soft Fruit and Cherries category, which was judged at the National Cherry and Soft Fruit Show at the Kent Show, Friday 11 July.

Judged on taste by both professionals from the industry and members of the public the winners are:

Cherries – Zoe variety – D.H. Bryant and Partner

Strawberries – Baby Jubilee variety – Hugh Lowe Farms

Raspberries – Glen Ample variety – Lower Ladysden Farm

Stephanie Durling at Produced in Kent comments: “We would like to congratulate the winners and all the entrants and whilst the fruit all looked fantastic on display, it all came down to taste to decide the winners. Kent is renown for producing excellent fruit and these awards aim to showcase those producers who produce for flavour as well as looks.”

Chairman of the National Cherry and Soft Fruit Show Paul Kelsey comments: “For over eighty years, the National Cherry and Soft Fruit Show has been exhibiting the very best cherries and soft fruits. The NCSFS is delighted that Produced in Kent has chosen to celebrate the fantastic fruit of Kent and we are proud to be associated with the Taste of Kent Awards.”

The winners will formally receive their award at the Taste of Kent Awards Gala dinner next spring.

The Garden of England Champions – Soft Fruit and Cherries category is sponsored by East Malling Research. Prof. Peter Gregory, Chief Executive of East Malling Research, comments: “With a centenary of experience in research towards sustainable production of superior, fresh fruit products, EMR are delighted to be sponsoring this category in the Taste of Kent Awards, involving key summer fruits in EMR’s portfolio. It reflects EMR’s acknowledgement of the importance of quality to consumers and the benefits to freshness, nutritional value and food security, that local and regional sourcing can bring.”

The Taste of Kent Awards is now in its eleventh year and is recognised as the outstanding annual showcase of Kent food and drink. The Awards promote a wide range of categories and are open to all food and drink businesses across Kent. The campaign begins each year with these soft fruit winners and continues with the commencement of public voting between September and early January which in last year’s Awards, generated nearly 14,500 votes and has been increasing year on year, clearly demonstrating that more and more consumers are buying Kent products and are interested in supporting local businesses.

The Taste of Kent Awards has been running since 2004 and is recognized as the outstanding annual showcase of Kent food and drink. The Awards promote a wide range of categories and are open to all food and drink businesses across Kent. The campaign begins each year with the commencement of public voting between September and early January which in the 2013 Awards, generated nearly 14,500 votes and has been increasing year on year, clearly demonstrating that more and more consumers are buying Kent products and are interested in supporting local businesses.

The Garden of England Champions – Soft Fruit and Cherries category is sponsored by East Malling Research. Prof. Peter Gregory, Chief Executive of East Malling Research, comments “With a centenary of experience in research towards sustainable production of superior, fresh fruit products, EMR are delighted to be sponsoring this new category in the Taste of Kent Awards, involving key summer fruits in EMR’s portfolio.  It reflects EMR’s acknowledgement of the importance of quality to consumers and the benefits to freshness, nutritional value and food security, that local and regional sourcing can bring “.

 

Press Release: 14 July 2014

 Launch of the Kent Countryside Award 2015

The search is now on to find Kent’s farmers, growers, food producers and rural businesses contributing to the benefit of the Kent countryside. The 2015 Kent Countryside Award, part of Produced in Kent’s Taste of Kent Awards, was launched at the Kent County Show on Friday 11 July.

The award, which is sponsored by the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the High Weald AONB and is backed by the Kent National Farmers Union, the Kent Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and Kent County Agricultural Society, recognises the hard work that goes into caring for Kent’s countryside and its environment by those that are working on the land or are a rural business.

Stephanie Durling of Produced in Kent comments: “The main criteria for entering the award is to show what you do to benefit our beautiful Kentish countryside. There are many farmers and producers in the county who not only produce excellent quality goods but who are also making an outstanding contribution to the preservation and enhancement of the natural landscape and this award is to celebrate their work.”

As well as direct entries from farmers, producers and rural businesses, the public are able to nominate winners for the award. Any type of business can enter, or be nominated, as long as they are using Kent produce, or growing, producing or farming in the county and can demonstrate that they go the extra mile to protect Kent’s countryside.

Nick Johannsen, Director of Kent Downs AONB comments: “Once again we have teamed up with the High Weald AONB to sponsor these awards and we are delighted to be involved. Farming and conservation increasingly work hand in hand and we hope not only farmers and producers enter to have their hard work recognised, but that the winners will provide encouragement to others in the county to follow their lead.”

CLA Chairman Nick Sandford comments: “We are delighted once again to be supporting this award and we hope our 1,000 or so members will take time away from their busy farms to enter. It is important farmers receive recognition for their role in not only contributing to Kent’s economy but also to the beautiful landscape which has been shaped over the years by working the land.”

This award is free to enter and is open to all farmers and food producers in Kent regardless of the size of the business, from small to large. Application forms are available from or . Closing date for entries is midday, Monday 12 January 2015 and the winners will be announced at the Taste of Kent Awards.

 

News from last years awards

THE WINNERS OF THE TASTE OF KENT AWARDS 2014

Celebrations took place across the county on Thursday 13 March, as the winners of The Taste Of Kent Awards 2014 were announced at a black tie dinner held at the Kent County Showground.

The winners have been selected by an expert panel of judges from three finalists who were shortlisted for each award category. The shortlisted finalists received the most votes in each award category and had been nominated and voted for by members of the public. From Rochester to Folkestone, the people of Kent have chosen the tastes, flavours, products, produce and venues that they have enjoyed the most over the last 12 months.

Read more

 MAJOR FOOD INDUSTRY AWARDS MOVES TO THE KENT EVENT CENTRE

Kent’s biggest annual showcase for the food and drink industry celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2014 and the awards have been switched to the Kent Event Centre near Maidstone, underlining its position as the region’s premier events venue.

Produced in Kent champions the food and drink sector in the Garden of England and its Taste of Kent Awards have become established as a major celebration of ‘the best of the best’ in the county.

The awards have been expanded with additional categories to mark the 10th anniversary and the organisers decided it was time to switch the event to a larger and more suitable venue. It takes place on 13 March.

Produced in Kent’s Stephanie Durling said it was a “natural fit” to move the awards to the Kent Event Centre, home to the Kent County Agricultural Society, and the venue for the Kent County Show.

“There is great synergy between Produced in Kent and the Kent Event Centre and with the growing size of the annual awards it made sense to move the event there. The flexibility of the venue means we can use our own caterer, Jason Freedman of The Minnis in Birchington.

“Produced in Kent truly appreciate the help and support of the staff at the Kent Event Centre and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”

Kent Event Centre manager Alison Wallington said: “We are delighted that Produced in Kent has chosen to bring the Taste of Kent Awards here. We are very passionate about this event and we look forward to hosting these prestigious awards.

“It is one of more than 60 public events this year plus conferences, training courses and meetings. Our new £1.5m conference building opens this spring, and by improving facilities and maintaining a clear focus on customer service, we are looking forward to a very successful future.”

Ease of access by road and rail and the availability of hotels make the Kent Event Centre a great choice for events. Facilities comprise the Clive Emson Conference Centre (1,700 sq m), the John Hendry Pavilion (1,750sq m) and the Astor Pavilion (151 sq m). There are also six major meeting rooms. There is free parking on site for up to 10,000 vehicles.

For more details contact the Kent Event Centre on 01622 630975 or visit www.kenteventcentre.co.uk