Cripps LLP – Main Sponsor

As legal specialists in the food and drink sector, Cripps LLP is proud to be the main sponsor of the Taste of Kent Awards. Kent is blessed with an array of outstanding food and drink producers, as well as retailers and other related businesses. There is fantastic quality and service to be had by sourcing locally as well as the associated significant environmental benefits. A celebration of all things local – and initiatives such as the Taste of Kent Awards – are very important to us. Our extensive experience enables us to give expert advice to businesses in Kent’s food and drink sector in areas such as joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, general commercial and trading matters, restructuring, dispute resolution, brand protection, employment, real estate and wealth management. cripps.co.uk


Biddenden Vineyards

Biddenden is Kent’s oldest commercial vineyard producing a range of English wines, ciders and fruit juices. The 24 acre vineyard is owned independently by the Barnes family, with Julian and Tom looking after all of the vineyard management and winemaking. Biddenden is also home to the ‘famous’ Strong Kentish Cider. Crafted using the family recipe all the ciders are made from carefully selected culinary and dessert apples and have a wine like style. Biddenden also produces a range of farm-pressed apple and pear juices, including Red Love®, the UK’s first naturally red apple juice. Visitors are welcome all year round. A Charity Tour, £1pp in aid of Kent charity Dandelion Time, takes place every Saturday morning, and Wednesdays June to September, at 10am. Private guided tours are available by prior arrangement. biddendenvineyards.com



BTF Partnership are land and property agents, with offices across Kent & Sussex and we are delighted once again to be supporting the Taste of Kent Award for Top Fruit. Top fruit growing is a firm part of Kent’s food and farming history. Whilst there is the understandable effort to innovate to increase crop yields which has driven farming change for the sector, capturing great taste is still the key to producing world class fruit from Kent. Kent apples and pears are enjoyed up and down the country and we are proud to be working with many of the counties leading growers. We look forward to seeing and tasting the entries in this category. btfpartnership.co.uk


 Eurostar – Sponsor of Kent Beer of the Year

When you vote at the Taste of Kent Awards you will be entered into a draw to win a pair of Eurostar Business Premier return tickets from either Ashford, Ebbsfleet or London to Paris, Brussels or Lille. Enjoy a three course meal, including wine and champagne, created by Michelin starred chef Raymond Blanc OBE as you relax in your first class seat, travelling at speeds up to 186 mph/300 kph.
Eurostar is passionate about its community & environment programme and we involved in various initiatives in Kent. We have ten bee hives producing ‘Eurostar Honey’ located near HS1 at Mersham, near Ashford. Our honey is served in some of our desserts on-board as well as being used in our own designer gin “Toujours 21”.
We are a supporter of the Taste of Kent Awards and a proud sponsor of the ‘Best Kentish Beer’ category. Other schemes Eurostar supports include the Kent Walk to School programme and various educational initiatives with schools and colleges. Visit www.eurostar.com to find out more.


 A C Goatham – Sponsor of Kent Tastiest Juice of the Year

A C Goatham & Son are delighted to sponsor the Kent Juice producer of the year award at the Taste of Kent Awards. As growers of 14 varieties of apples, including the delicious new Zari variety and 3 varieties of pears, we know what it takes to grow delicious tasting fruit. It takes a lot of skill to make great tasting juice, but producers are lucky with so much fantastically grown Kent produce to choose from. We look forward to meeting the producers of Kent’s best juices throughout the year and wish them every success. acgoatham.com


Hadlow College Commercial Farms – Sponsor of Kent Butchers Shop of the Year

As the county’s leading rural College, and exponent of sourcing good quality, locally grown produce, Hadlow College is delighted to sponsor the launch of the Taste of Kent Awards.   Our commercial farm shops use locally sourced produce and our catering outlets locally sourced ingredients. Since our foundation we’ve been involved in the growing of fresh produce and are one of the few colleges left that offers a commercial horticulture degree programme. hadlow.ac.uk


Hadlow Group – Launch Sponsor

Comprising three further education colleges, including Kent’s only Ofsted outstanding college, as well as Betteshanger Sustainable Parks, Hadlow Rural Community School, Hadlow Community Pre-School and the Rosemary Shrager Cookery School, the Hadlow Group is an innovative £50m fully-commercial educational group, with an emphasis on excellence and the county of Kent.  In 2016 it was named “Top Public Sector Company” at the national Institute for Turnaround Awards. hadlowgroup.ac.uk

 HSBC – Sponsor of Kent Food Product of the Year

We take great pride in sponsoring this very prestigious award. Supporting the Garden of England’s ambitious local businesses, and the contribution they make to the Kent economy, is at the heart of HSBC’s mission to help businesses thrive, economies prosper and enable people to realise their ambitions. The incredible range and quality of Kent’s finest food & drink producers show innovation & passion that is key to successful businesses.
We are delighted to support the awards and congratulate & thank everyone involved.

For nearly 150 years we have been where the growth is, connecting customers to opportunities. Today, HSBC Commercial Banking serves businesses ranging from small enterprises to large multinationals in almost 60 developed and faster-growing markets around the world. Whether it is working capital, trade finance or payments and cash management solutions, we provide the tools and expertise that businesses need to thrive. With a network covering three quarters of global commerce, we make HSBC the world’s leading international trade and business bank. www.hsbc.co.uk



Kent County Agricultural Society  – Sponsor of GARDEN OF ENGLAND CHAMPION – CHERRY & SOFT FRUIT

The Kent County Agricultural Society, the charity behind the Kent County Show is proud to sponsor the Cherry and Soft Fruit Award at the Taste of Kent Awards. One of the unique highlights of the largest three day Show in Kent; the National Cherry and Soft Fruit Show showcases the very best of Kentish produce and is where this award will be judged. By purchasing a ticket to the Show, our visitors support a range of rural based charities and businesses including Kent Young Farmers Clubs, Kent Poultry Club and the Kent Federation of Horticultural Societies. One of the aims of the Show is to educate the general public and highlight the industry through the showing of livestock and produce. kentshowground.co.uk


NFU Mutual Ashford and Tenterden – Sponsor of Kent Wine of the Year

NFU Mutual Ashford and Tenterden is a voice in the South East of a leading insurer known for its expertise in insuring the risks of every part of the food chain and every type of rural business.
We’re looking forward to meeting some of Kent’s most exciting food innovators and delighted to be able to support an event that recognises and encourages their marvellous achievements.


Opies – Sponsor of Kent Local Food Retailer of the Year

Opies are delighted to be sponsoring the Kent Local Food of the Year category in this years’s Taste of Kent Awards. Many more retailers are realising the benefit of stocking local food and this presents a fantastic opportunity for Kent as the Garden of England that offers some of the finest produce. Opies have always been strong supporters of local businesses and Kent food producers who use local ingredients to produce some great quality foods. b-opie.com


Shepherd Neame – Sponsor of the KENT FOOD PRODUCT Classes

Shepherd Neame operates 350 pubs across London and the South East and brews traditional Kentish ales and international lagers under licence.
Established in 1698, Britain’s oldest brewer is an independent family business, with chief executive Jonathan Neame the fifth generation of his family at the helm.
Based at Faversham, in the heart of Kent’s hop country, Shepherd Neame combines centuries of brewing expertise with modern, sustainable production methods.
In the last five years Shepherd Neame has won more than thirty brewing awards, plus Best Pub Food Offer and Best Managed Pub Operator at The Publican Awards.
The brewery’s award-winning brands include Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale, Bishops Finger Strong Ale and Asahi. shepherdneame.co.uk

Shopper Anonymous – Sponsor of KENT FOOD PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

Our unique approach centres on our team of carefully chosen mystery shoppers who produce reports more comprehensive than any other in the marketplace, providing your staff with the perfect motivational and coaching tool. Due to our broad range of skills and experience, having conducted over 100,000 mystery shops, we are able to transfer our knowledge into enthusiastic and fun customer service workshops and business mentoring sessions. shopperanonymous.co.uk

Synecore – Awards Dinner Reception Sponsor

Synecore’s Mechanical and Electrical Design, Installation and Maintenance services have played a pivotal role in the national roll-out programmes for the likes of Leon Restaurants, The Restaurant Group and Hilton Hotels. This M&E contractor offers specialist solutions for the hospitality sector, including; walk in cold-rooms, commercial refrigeration, HVAC, electrical engineering and plumbing. With so much to offer the local food and drink sector, the company is delighted to sponsor the Taste of Kent Awards 2018. For more information about Synecore’s M&E services, please visit www.synecore.co.uk.


 Thompson, Snell and Passmore – Sponsor of Kent Restaurant of the Year

Thomson Snell & Passmore is a law firm with a long history of advising Kent clients in the food and drink sector. Our experience spans the whole sector from advising seed developers to retail and restaurants and everything in between. We have restaurant clients all over the south east as well as in London. We are proud to support the Kent Restaurant of the Year category and wish all the nominees every success.

The University of Kent – Sponsor of Kent Dining Pub of the Year

The University of Kent is proud to be making a difference in our community. We generate around £0.7billion for the South-East and contribute over 100,000 volunteering hours per year. As the largest conference venue in the South East, the University prides itself on delivering the very best Kentish experience to staff, students and visitors from all over the world. Having won the Best Group Accommodation Award for the 8th year running, our team are passionate about showcasing the best the region has to offer in food, drink and hospitality. Supporting local businesses is important to us; we work in partnership with local producers to ensure that our customers benefit from some of Kent’s finest produce.


Wilkins Kennedy LLP – Sponsor of KENT CIDER OR PERRY of the Year

The practice of Wilkins Kennedy has been associated with the farming fraternity in Kent for over 100 years. The association encompasses all land aspects from arable and animal husbandry to fruit, as well as dealing with merchants and those associated with the countryside. We are therefore delighted to be able to sponsor the Kent Cider and Perry category, a programme associated with a sector that has a ferocious appetite to produce with innovation, passion and commitment. Furthermore, from the partnership’s aspect, being given the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to a sector which in itself rewards the staff and partners is a real privilege. We would like to wish every success to all participants.

High Weald AONB – Joint Sponsors of Kent Countryside Award

High Weald AONB is essentially a medieval landscape covering much of Kent and part of East Sussex which is made up of many key features – its rolling hills, scattered farmsteads, small woodlands, irregular-shaped fields, open heaths and ancient routeways created by the end of the 14th century. The High Weald AONB Unit is a strategic, specialist team that furthers understanding of the High Weald, advises on its management and enables action to conserve it.

The Kent Downs AONB – Joint Sponsors of Kent Countryside Award

The Kent Downs AONB is a nationally protected landscape; it covers about a quarter of Kent including the North Downs and areas of the Greensand Ridge and Romney Marsh. The aim of this Award is to recognise exemplary achievements where a food producer or farmer makes a real contribution to the conservation and enhancement of Kent’s fine landscape.


Kent Event Centre

Media Partners



insideKENT Magazine is Kent’s premier luxury lifestyle magazine, dedicated to showcasing the best-of-the-best in fashion, local food and dining, entertainment and events, days out, business, art, travel, getaways, technology, and more.


South East Farmer

As the regions main farming title, South East Farmer is proud to be this years Media Sponsor for the Taste Of Kent Awards. With 45,000 readers in the seven counties of the south east we are well placed to preview and publish the results to farmers, growers and allied trades who receive our magazine in the post every month.

If you are a farmer or grower in the region and not currently receiving our title then please email readers@southeastfarmer.net. It is also free to view on our website.