Colors: Green Color
Colors: Green Color

The UK's first ever range of fresh vegetables aimed at encouraging kids to eat healthier food is being launched by Tesco.

The range, which goes on sale from today, will begin with easy-to-eat, star-shaped butternut squash bites. It will then roll out to include other fresh produce including smiley sweet potato faces.

Traditionally a technique used for products like tinned alphabet spaghetti and frozen potato dishes, this is the first time this approach has been used for fresh fruit and veg.

Tesco has taken learnings from how children relate to foods with interesting shapes and sizes and hopes it will help make mealtimes more engaging and fun and encourage them to explore a wider range of vegetables.

Tesco vegetable buyer Elizabeth Hall said:

“We want to give parents a helping hand with encouraging their kids to eat more vegetables.

“We've taken away a lot of the hassle out of preparing vegetables like butternut squash, which might deter busy cooks at home, whilst also making them more appealing for children.

“We hope by adding a touch of novelty, we can make vegetables the deliciously nutritious and fun part of every meal”

The move by Tesco to create the child-friendly vegetable shapes has been welcomed by the National Farmers' Union (NFU).

Ali Capper, chairman of the NFU's Horticulture Board said:

Congratulations to Tesco for addressing how we can we can instil a love of fruit and vegetables in children from a very young age.

"We have long been calling on food manufacturers to create fun-shaped fruit and veg for children in smaller-sized portions, which we believe could have a role in helping reverse the current obesity crisis.”

The creation of the butternut squash stars is the latest way Tesco partners with growers so that no edible food goes to waste.

Elizabeth Hall added:

At Tesco we're passionate about tackling food waste from farm to fork.

We work with our growers and suppliers to make sure we use as much of their crops as possible to prevent food waste.

“Besides these stars, butternut is used to make our carb alternatives such as fusilli, spaghetti, lasagne sheets, as well as wedges and soups.”

“These Butternut squash stars are brilliant way to excite kids with great tasting, high quality vegetables that also helps producers who are able to sell even more of their crop.”

Inspired by outdoor adventures and handmade in Dorset, FIREPOT by Outdoorfood has been revealed as The Seed Fund's 2017 winner and will now benefit from a full year of business support, branding and mentoring from the philanthropic organisation's network of food and drink industry experts.

Owner, John Fisher, collected his prize at the Great Taste Golden Fork Award Dinner on Monday 4 September, marking the climactic end to the first year of partnership between The Seed Fund and the world's most coveted food awards. Hailed as "a game changing product that can make a huge difference to eating outdoors”, Outdoorfood has created a selection of backpack-friendly meals including Chilli con Carne, Dal and Risotto with a two-year shelf life, which are free from preservatives and just require hot water to prepare.

Having spent the summer working alongside the future stars of food and drink, as part of this year's Seed Fund Academy, Outdoorfood consistently impressed with the quality of its product and the boundless ambition of John, who first began developing FIREPOT for his own nutritional needs while traveling around the world. Frustrated by the lack of natural foods available to adventurists, John designed his own range of healthy and satisfying slow-cooked meals, ensuring they were lightweight enough to be enjoyed from the heights of the Himalayas to the fjords of Chile.

Jayne Noblet, owner of The Collaborators and founder of The Seed Fund, commented: “We had a very special group of start-ups in this year's Seed Fund Academy, but Outdoorfood really did blow us away with the sheer originality and quality of the product, as well as the team's determination to grow and develop the business. From polar explorers and serious sailors to weekend ramblers and happy campers, this is real food and proper nutrition for when you need it the most. John and his right-hand man, Luke Pollard, have contributed so much to this year's Academy and we know they will make fantastic ambassadors for The Seed Fund in future years, as they continue on their new adventure. In their first six months, FIREPOT meals are already being eaten across the globe, so we can't wait to see how far they can travel in a year with The Seed Fund's support!”

John Fisher, managing director of Outdoorfood, adds: “We entered The Seed Fund Academy with high expectations – an amazing chance to learn from individuals with years of industry experience – but at the time we had no idea of the sheer scale of the impact it would have on our business. The three months of workshops and mentoring sessions have exposed us to invaluable advice and case studies on how to launch and grow a food business. We have also loved working with the other start-ups in the Academy and sharing experiences and solutions with people facing similar challenges. It has been an incredibly energising experience and one I would recommend to any food company in the UK. The Seed Fund has been amazingly generous with their time over the summer and now we have the privilege of continuing to work with them over the next year. We will take this opportunity to pick through every aspect of our brand – not just the public face of our packaging and website, but also our business processes and our approach – and with their help develop Outdoorfood into an international brand worthy of The Seed Fund.”

Champions of Small Business will be supporting ‘Takeaway & Restaurant Innovation Expo,’ Europe’s only event for starting or growing takeaway or restaurant business, on September 26 and 27, at the ExCeL Arena, in London.

The shows runs alongside ‘Restaurant Tech Live’ and ‘Restaurant & Bar Design Show,’ so there will be absolutely everything you need to start, build and grow your food and drink business, with over 500 suppliers, showcasing the most innovative technologies, products, design ideas, marketing strategies and branding, financial services and much more to help your new venture stand out from the crowd.

Additionally, there will be the benefit of expert-led panel debates, interactive features, innovation awards, networking opportunities, workshops and 1-2-1 business advice from some of the most successful start-ups and industry leaders, and it doesn’t stop there!

There will also be the chance to listen to over 250 inspiring seminars, from the likes of John Aizlewood, Market Growth Officer at Pizza Hut; Marcin Korowiecki, Head of Systems at Jamie’s Italian; Abel Campos, Head of Franchising at McDonald’s UK; Pia Fairhurst, Creative Director at Azzurri Group; Lisa Prisk, Head of Design at Tossed and many more!

Multi-award winning fine dining Indian restaurant, Pushkar Cocktail Bar & Dining added a ‘The Best of Birmingham’ award to its list of accolades at the 7th annual English Curry Awards on 21st August 2017.

Many personalities from the hospitality industry gathered at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly hotel to celebrate, reward and highlight the unsung heroes behind the UK’s favourite dish. Attendees enjoyed a glittering ceremony with great food and entertainment while finding out which were the best curry houses of 2017.

With approximately 25 million curries being consumed each week, the English Curry Awards has become a key fixture on the UK social calendar, lauded as a national institution in its own right. The nomination process invited members of the public to nominate their favourite curry restaurants for a deserving accolade.

Pushkar’s Creative Director, Rai Singh, was delighted with the award: “We’re absolutely over the moon to have won another English Curry Award. Birmingham’s culinary scene is one of the richest in the world when it comes to curry establishments, and so to be awarded ‘The Best of Birmingham’, out of so many great curry greats, is such an honour. We are always proud to represent Birmingham and the Midlands. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us through the years and we could not have done this without the amazing team behind Pushkar.”

Red Tractor Week 2017 (11th – 17th September) will celebrate great food, great farming and quality food you can trust. Supported by BBC Countryfile presenter and Red Tractor farmer Adam Henson, the week will encourage people to cook their own recipes using Red Tractor products and post them online using #Trustthetractor.

Red Tractor is creating an online recipe book of real people’s favourite Red Tractor meals. Each day will focus on a different key British ingredient and will be supported by a daily competition, and real life stories and videos from the Red Tractor farmers who bring us our food.

People can take part via social media (on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #Trustthetractor) and on the Red Tractor website (www.redtractor.org.uk);

  • Monday 11th – Poultry (chicken, duck, turkey)
  • Tuesday 12th  – Dairy (milk, cheese, butter)
  • Wednesday 13th - Pork
  • Thursday 14th – Fruit
  • Friday 15th – Beef & Lamb
  • Saturday 16th – Vegetables (including sugar and potatoes)
  • Sunday 17th - Crops (incl. wheat, barley and oats)

Red Tractor Farmer and BBC Countryfile presenter, Adam Henson said; “What a fabulous week to get out cooking and supporting our wonderful British Red Tractor farmers.  As a Red Tractor farmer myself this is one of my favourite times of year, when the harvest is safely gathered and we can really enjoy the fruits of our labour with so much great food in season.

“This year has been a patchy harvest with mixed quality in wheat and barley, however overall it has been a positive result.  With quality being key, it is more important than ever that the crop is looked after, which is why good standards are important.”

Every stage of the journey your Red Tractor food makes is checked.  Rigorous independent systems ensure that food holding the Red Tractor logo can be traced right back to original British farms.

The week will draw people’s attention to the great standards that go into food and drink with the Red Tractor label. Red Tractor ensures people can trust the food they eat.  It is the largest food standards scheme in the UK, covering; animal welfare, food safety, traceability and environmental protection.

Red Tractor food and drink has been responsibly produced to some of the most comprehensive and respected standards in the world. All stages are regularly checked by independent experts. All the major UK supermarkets use our standards as the basis for their UK sourced food (and most choose to display our logo to confirm product credentials with their customers).

It's the fruit sensation that's graced millions of Instagram feeds and quickly become a breakfast staple.

Now for a limited time only, customers at Tesco will be able to enjoy small, snack–sized avocados, as well as regular-sized varieties.

This is the latest move by Tesco to work in partnership with suppliers so that no edible food goes to waste. Traditionally these smaller avocados would have been rejected by growers due to their size.  Growers have worked hard so that these diminutive eggs are of the same high quality as their larger counterparts.

The rare, mini avocados or Zilla Eggs are about a third of the size of regular avocados and are 24 times smaller than the giant sized Avozilla avocado, which Tesco has sold in a limited number of stores in recent years.

Tesco avocado buyer James Cantoni said:

“At Tesco we're passionate about working in partnership with our suppliers to tackle food waste from farm to fork.

“These Zilla Eggs are a brilliant way to offer customers great tasting, high quality avocados, which previously would have been rejected by growers because of their size.

“They are perfect for customers who want to snack, without the usual fuss or worry of wasting the other half of the avocado. And it also helps producers who are able to sell even more of their avocado crop.”

In recent years the popularity of avocados has overtaken the demand for more established favourites, with demand soaring by more than 30 per cent last year.

It is hoped the trial by Tesco will help to widen the fruit's appeal even further. The size and delicate skin, which can be peeled away by hand, makes these miniature avocados ideal snacking foods, and a perfect addition to a school lunch box.

The Good Food Guide (GFG) has revealed its top places to dine in the UK, along with its award winners. For the first time in five years, the guide, published by Waitrose, has announced a new 'number one restaurant'. And it's not just grand dining-rooms across the UK being celebrated, more quirky finds include an eatery housed in a former strip-club and a tiny 12 seater restaurant run by the guide's 'Chef to Watch'.

New number one The restaurant awarded the top spot in The Good Food Guide 2018 is Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall. It has also achieved a perfect score of ten for the second year running. The Port Isaac seafood restaurant has been crowned number one in the UK for being 'the whole package', with its relaxed dining room, a menu carefully crafted around the freshest Cornish seafood, along with perfect service which 'just happens in the most discreet and attentive way'.  Outlaw takes the title of Britain's best restaurant from L'Enclume in Cumbria after their four years at the summit. However, Simon Rogan's L'Enclume still retains a perfect ten score for its 'fiercely seasonal ingredients' and 'knockout dishes'.

Speaking about the newly crowned number one restaurant, Waitrose Good Food Guide Editor, Elizabeth Carter said, “Nathan Outlaw's food is characterised by the absolute freshness of ingredients and a clear sense of purpose. He has done an enormous amount to educate and encourage the public appetite for fish, driven by his supply of impeccably fine ingredients, and a special talent for creating unique and thrilling fish dishes. Moreover, nobody seems to leave Nathan Outlaw's staff – they just go and work in another one of his restaurants. They obviously think he's a pretty good boss as well as a fine chef.”

Outlaw says, “We've always been proud to have a place in the listings, but to hear that Restaurant Nathan Outlaw has made it to No 1 is phenomenal.  I'd say the award has come due to the hard work and dedication of our team who have now been working together for a decade. It just goes to show that if you stay true to yourself, get your head down, look after your customers and use the very best ingredients available to you, you'll make it to the top.”

Dining discoveries Alongside the finest dining establishments, the GFG also champions more unusual eateries that you may not find in more traditional restaurant guides.  In addition to anonymous inspections, the GFG's research list is based on the huge volume of feedback received from readers and this helps uncover new foodie finds every year.

This year's edition features four new entries housed under railway arches: Umezushi in Manchester; Hart's Bakery in Bristol; and Bala Baya and El Pastor, both in London.

Also new to the GFG this year is Vice and Virtue, a Leeds' restaurant located in a former strip club.   With its Art Deco style interior, this venue is now poles apart from its previous life - it now serves up three tasting menus, with dishes including 'perfect' lobster ravioli and organic apple strudel.

And in Devon you'll find Ode & Co in a posh holiday park above the sea on the Teign Estuary. Run by husband and wife team Tim and Clare Bouget, this eatery has a real focus on local ingredients, with their pizzas cooked in a recycled oven and made with organic Devon flour, topped with local cheese. The GFG has celebrated fine food in a holiday park before. The Marram Grass Cafe found on a caravan site in Anglesey, was featured two years ago.

Says Elizabeth Carter, Waitrose Good Food Guide Editor, “Once again the readers of theguide have pointed our experts towards some brilliant eating in unexpected places. Whether it's fine-dining in a former strip-club, sushi under a railway arch or a fish supper in a shipping container, we find and celebrate culinary flair in all its forms. With this year's new entries including an 'ecological canteen' constructed from renewables in a holiday park, and a former town library playing host to one of Devon's best new openings, The Good Food Guide continues in its mission to uncover great cooking whatever the venue, wherever the talent. We think that eating out should be fun – and that's something these restaurants deliver in spades.”

Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand's largest hotel operator, will participate in an innovative new charity operation that collects and distributes surplus food to benefit people in need, starting this August. The operation, ThaiHarvest|SOS is a joint initiative with OzHarvest, the pioneering Australian organization that has established a proven and successful “Food Rescue” model which is being adopted around the world, and the Thai Foundation Scholars of Sustenance (SOS)”.

The programme's mission is to eliminate hunger and food waste through the re-distribution of quality surplus food. Experts estimate as much as a third of food produced for human consumption is wasted in the transport, distribution, and preparation supply chain. When this food ends up in a landfill, it represents a tremendous waste of resources and a lost opportunity to help people unable to afford adequate nutrition.

The OzHarvest rescue and redistribution system has proven a safe and efficient way to reduce this waste and benefit the planet. Begun in Australia 14 years ago, it is now being replicated in the UK, South Africa, New Zealand, Peru, Indonesia and Vietnam. An important part of the initiative is educating people about the problem and opportunity of food waste.

In Thailand, ThaiHarvestISOS picks up good quality surplus food daily from participating supermarkets, hotels, food courts, restaurants and other businesses. Trained inspectors sort the food and assure its safety. Food no longer fit for human consumption is taken to local farms for composting. The rest is refrigerated and delivered to the needy. Since 2016 ThaiHarvestISOS has donated over 60,000 meals to organizations such as Mercy Center Orphanage, Half Way Homes for men and women, the Pak Kred Babies' Home and the Poh Teck Tung Foundation.

In August Centara Hotels & Resorts will begin donating surplus food from its Centara Grand hotels at CentralWorld and Ladprao. Eventually it hopes for all its Thailand properties to participate. These main two properties will also arrange an event called “Master Class Dinner”. It will be led by Will and Steve, celebrity chefs who won Australia's The Seven Network's top rating cooking show in 2015 - My Kitchen Rules Australia and known as chefs who support OzHarvest campaigns and now ThaiHarvestISOS.

“We are thrilled about the leadership taken by Centara to partner with us on our mission to eliminate hunger and reduce food waste through the re-distribution of quality surplus food. Their commitment and support will allow ThaiHarvest|SOS to both help reduce food waste in Thailand and at the same time, provide good meals to those in need in our community”, said Gopi Krishnan, Head of Programmes at OzHarvest and ThaiHarvest|SOS.

“As we prepare food for our guests, unavoidably at the end of each day we have surplus – for example, bakery items or excess from a large banquet,” said Centara's Corporate Director of Food and Beverage, Winfried Hancke. “It is a shame to let this food go to waste when there are so many people who could benefit from it.”

Supatra Chirathivat, Centara's Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs & Social Responsibilities, noted how well the programme fits the group's social responsibility and sustainability goals. “Being a good member of the community means helping those less fortunate and using the earth's resources more efficiently. We're so enthusiastic to support the work of OzHarvest and ThaiHarvestISOS. Food is an area where we can all help reduce waste. I hope our involvement helps educate and inspire others to do their part.”

It was traditionally the supermarket aisle where shoppers purely bought their fruit and vegetables, but now major changes in the produce area are having a profound effect on not only shopping habits but also the move to reduce food waste.

Instead of just fruit and vegetables Tesco fruit and veg aisles now offer shoppers more than 400 fresh, healthy ready meals, snacks and side dishes.

These include healthy carb alternatives such as Butternut Fusilli and Leek and Cavolo Bake; side dishes like Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Mushrooms; snacks like Mexican Spiced Bean and Fruit Salsa; and dessert crumble mixes with fruit.

In the last two years rising demand for these prepared foods has grown by 10 per cent – the equivalent of an extra 1.5 million items bought by shoppers.

And their popularity is having a great environmental knock-on effect – a number of these dishes and snacks allow growers and producers to utilise all of their crops, such as cauliflower, carrots, swedes, broccoli and butternut, leading to less food waste.

For instance, cauliflowers considered too small to sell on their own are now being used to make cauliflower couscous - a healthier replacement for carbs – amongst other prepared veg dishes.

And wonky shaped carrots are now being used to make carrot spaghetti - another healthier alternative to carbs.

Tesco prepared produce buyer Elizabeth Hall said:

“These tempting new fresh fruit and veg foods are not only offering shoppers a far wider choice in healthy, nutritious meals but are also helping tackle food waste through greater crop utilisation.

“For growing numbers of shoppers the fruit and veg aisle is now the first destination they will head to, to find innovative and delicious new meals if they are pressed for time and looking for fresh food they can cook quickly.

“Until about five years ago the main prepared fruit and veg items were stir fry mixes, sides like roasting trays of vegetables, and fruit snack packs.

“These have been so popular that we began to expand the range in order to further help customers who are short on time but still want to experience the joy of cooking fresh food.”

Demand at Tesco has particularly rocketed over the last two years with:

  • Spiralised vegetables such as courgette or carrot spaghetti – soaring by 40 per cent
  • Edamame bean salads – growing by more than 100 per cent
  • Organic prepared salads – up by nearly 90 per cent
  • Healthy fruit snacks such as melon and mango 'fingers' – up 400 per cent
On account of their growing popularity Tesco is about to extend its range of prepared vegetable, fruit and salad dishes.

Among the new lines about to be launched are the UK's first ever mushroom burgers as well as beetroot burgers; potato wedges with katsu dip and crunchy quinoa; and fajita mix with peppers and onions.

Added Tesco's Elizabeth Hall: “It's not only time-pressed shoppers that we are catering for with these new fresh ready meals and snacks.

“Healthy foods such as butternut fusilli and butternut lasagne sheets are meeting the needs of customers wanting to cut down on carbs and look after themselves through simple alternatives.”

With the arrival of August, the Jerte Picota Cherries have started to disappear from UK supermarkets shelves in Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons. The end of their short season is unfortunately here, and we won't see them again until next June.

The season of Jerte Picota Cherries lasts for approximately 6 weeks from the end of June until the beginning of August. Jerte Picota Cherries are 100% natural, grown with no additives, making them the perfect fruit to enjoy for any meal during the peak of the summer season.

Following century-long family customs, the cherries are grown in a traditional way on terraces carved out of the high mountains in the Jerte Valley, among crystal-clear springs and pure air. Only this location, with a privileged microclimate, could grow the best cherries from Spain. The season was slightly longer this year due to perfect weather conditions in the Jerte Valley.

With their sweet taste and unique appearance, Jerte Picota Cherries are loved all over the UK, with many fans counting down the days to their arrival. Jerte Picota Cherries have a loyal following on social media, where people come for the latest information, post their own recipes and comment about their recent cherry purchases. One loyal fan, Stephanie P., commented saying, “It's been a wonderful year for the best cherries in the world. Only 46 weeks to go to the next harvest.” This year the Jerte Picota Cherries were also featured in Spanish restaurants throughout London, including José Pizarro Restaurants, Hispania and Ibérica. Delicious dishes were created by top Spanish chefs for people to enjoy.

During the coming months, you can daydream about how you'll use Jerte Picota Cherries next year, from delicious recipes to snacking moments to summer picnics. Keep an eye out for Jerte Picota Cherries next season, looking for the red and yellow PDO logo that accompanies each punnet of cherries.

Obsessive attention to detail has paid off for Devon-based premium soft drinks producer, Luscombe Drinks, who have just won a staggering 15 Great Taste awards at the world's most prestigious food and drinks awards.

Run annually by the Guild of Fine Food, Great Taste awarded Luscombe Drinks four two-star awards for products judged as 'outstanding' and nine one-star awards for those judged as 'simply delicious'. This brings the Luscombe Drinks haul to a total of 73 Great Taste awards for the range of delicate bubblies, fruit crushes, fruit juices, traditional soft drinks, tonic waters and a cider.

Gabriel David, founder and chairman of Luscombe Drinks, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news – 15 more Great Taste awards! I'm particularly delighted that our new tonics have already gained recognition. This is a huge pat on the back for the hard work and dedication of the Luscombe Drinks team, especially given the competition in the soft drinks industry.

“I am extremely proud that Luscombe Drinks now has a total of 73 Great Taste awards – because it is all about the taste. Our ethos is to pay fanatical attention to the detail. We ensure that quality is never compromised when it comes to sourcing the finest ingredients, using minimal processing and crafting the very best soft drinks. And, we are continually innovating and exploring new ingredients and flavours.”

Waitrose will launch its 50th sushi counter on 1st August and has confirmed it will add up to 25 more by the end of January 2018.

The counters are part of the supermarket's plans to reflect the needs of the modern day shopper by providing convenient food and drink to take away or eat in store. This has already seen the launch of a new 'Kitchen' concept, wine bars, eat-in bakeries and in-store cafes.

Waitrose became the first UK national supermarket to offer sushi, which is freshly made in its shops, when it introduced a counter at its Battersea store in November 2015. The sushi counters were launched in co-operation with Sushi Daily.

Sushi counter sales at Waitrose grew by more than 23 per cent between February and April this year as the retailer delivered the fastest roll-out programme SushiDaily has experienced in the ten countries in which they now operate.

Waitrose Canary Wharf, the retailer's largest store, is delivering one of the highest turnovers in sales of sushi among more than 600 counters Sushi Daily operates throughout Europe.

Following the opening of its 50th sushi counter in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, on 1st August, the supermarket will have opened more than 20 counters in the last six months.

Each Sushi Daily bar is headed by a team of skilled sushi artisans, who prepare a range of hand-made sushi and maki everyday in front of customers. The bestselling lines at Waitrose include the Salmon Crunch Roll, California Crunch Roll and the Avocado Maki.

This summer a variety of new Yellowtail sushi will be introduced in selected bars for the first time. Considered to be one of the finest fish in the world by many chefs, the creamy white fish delivers a fresh, full taste and will feature in four new products

Craft & Crumb announced today that they have been awarded a Silver in the Best Children's Food category in the Junior Design Awards 2017, the original and trendsetting lifestyle awards that recognises the best of the best for children.

The Junior Design Award is the most esteemed accolade in the family lifestyle award arena, recognised by brands, clients and consumers alike. The winners were handpicked by the Junior editorial team and a panel of industry insiders, celebrity parents, and social influencers including Pearl Lowe, Cherry Healey, Matt Whitehouse (@papa_pukka), and popular mummy bloggers including Zoe (@dresslikeamum) and Natalie (@stylemeSunday) to mention just a few.

“Junior magazine flies the flag for high end premium brands and we share their commitment to outstanding design and exceptional attention to detail. As a new start up business, we are thrilled to have been awarded a silver in these most coveted awards,” said Kate Horne co-founder of Craft & Crumb. “As Junior turns 20, we continue to recognise and reward uncompromising style, design, and beauty. Our winners demonstrate excellent aesthetics and outstanding vision,” commented the editorial team.

Great Taste, the world's most coveted food awards, which celebrates the very best in food and drink, has announced the Great Taste stars of 2017. Out of over 12,300 products to be judged, the Meatsnacks Group was awarded two 1-star Great Taste awards, which means judges dubbed it simply delicious for its Wild West Honey BBQ Beef Jerky and Cruga Biltong Original. About the jerky the judges commented, 'Great appearance. Sweet on the palate, but not too chewy'. On the biltong they said 'A nicely even cut which has a very good chew and a delicate spicing. The balance works well with meat. Simple but effective.'

Judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and producers, as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists, Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers. As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakeable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to a wonderful tasting product, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind-tasting by hundreds of judges.

'Having won our first Great Taste Award last year this spurred us on to gain recognition for other brands in our range. I am immensely proud of the team with gaining two awards this year for both Wild West jerky and Cruga biltong. It's a testament to their commitment to producing the best jerky and biltong,' explains James Newitt, Managing Director.

The Meatsnacks Group makes its jerky from beef silverside. From their facility in the Highlands of Scotland, the meat is prepared by hand, which is then marinated for 24 hours, slowly cooked and smoked.

The biltong is made using select cuts of beef silverside, to a traditional South African blend, which is sliced and air dried in their custom designed drying room. The biltong is then hand-picked using a traditional skill brought from South Africa.

Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, Great Taste values taste above all else, with no regard for branding and packaging. Whether it is gin, biscuits, sausages or coffee being judged, all products are removed from their wrapper, jar, box or bottle before being tasted. The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a 1-, 2- or 3-star award.

There were 12,366 Great Taste entries this year and of those products, 165 have been awarded a 3-star, 1,011 received a 2-star and 3,171 were awarded a 1-star accolade. The panel of judges included; chef, food writer and author, Gill Meller, MasterChef judge and restaurant critic, Charles Campion, author and chef, Zoe Adjonyoh, baker, Tom Herbert, and food writer and baking columnist Martha Collison as well as food buyers from Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, and Harvey Nichols. These esteemed palates have together tasted and re-judged the 3-star winners to finally agree on the 2017 Top 50 Foods, the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the 2017 Supreme Champion.

Great Taste 2017 will reach its exciting finale on Monday 4 September, when the world of fine food gathers at the Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel, London to find out the Golden Fork winners for each region at an Awards Dinner, with the final applause reserved for the Great Taste Supreme Champion 2017.

All hail convenience! The time-pressed nation is busy, busy, busy, fanning a growing trend for on-the-go food and drink and meal solutions. With premium quality a key part of what consumers are looking for, Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2017 is worth slowing down for.

The industry event at Olympia London will be showcasing thousands of new products, many of which have been created with convenience in mind, when the doors open from September 3-5. From grab boxes of authentic Turkish Delight, mini portions of all natural dressings, snack bars, healthier teas, mini pots of nut butters, gourmet ready meals, and breakfast smoothie bowls.

Adrian Beale, Founder of fine food distributors Buckley & Beale and Speciality & Fine Food Fair Ambassador, said: "If looking for new products at the Fair, 'convenience' foods should definitely be high up on the wish list. However, it's important to appreciate that convenience covers a wider range than first appears, and isn't just the grab and go sector. Consumers are also looking for complete meal solutions that are quick and easy to prepare, and they want them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Look for products that clearly communicate to customers how they help them in their busy lives; how easy they are to consume or prepare; and what boxes they tick for health, sustainability, honourable sourcing, all of which are important to the next generation of demanding consumers."

Britain's largest producer of branded and private label fresh milk, butter, yogurt, desserts and dairy ingredients products has unveiled a series of measures to help supplying farmers build vibrant dairy businesses for the future.

Müller has already confirmed an unprecedented £100m of investment in its UK network of dairies so that it can build an additional £700m worth of sales of dairy products made with milk from British farmers, by 2020.

Now the business wants to increase confidence and resilience amongst its dairy farmer suppliers against a backdrop of volatile and unpredictable global dairy markets, and uncertainty surrounding future support for farmers following the UK's departure from the EU.

Müller has confirmed:

  • A 1.31ppl increase in its farm gate milk price with effect from 1st September 2017, taking its standard litre price to 29.00ppl
  • The introduction of a new Müller Direct Futures Contract option, giving dairy farmers the opportunity to agree a monthly price for up to 25% of their milk volume, for 12 months ahead
  • The introduction of Müller Farm Insight, a new service for dairy farmers offering valuable data, welfare tools and benchmarking, to help their businesses
  • The launch of Müller Direct, which comprises the 700 of the company's 1,800 farmer suppliers who aren't currently part of groups aligned to major supermarket customers. Müller Direct farmers are the focus for all of the above initiatives.
Müller Agriculture Director Rob Hutchison said:

“There is a lot of uncertainty out there but we are optimistic. Britain remains one of the best places in the world to produce milk and Müller is investing heavily to ensure that consumers will be able to buy more and more dairy products made in Britain with milk from British farmers.

“We want to work with farmers to realise our shared ambitions as the basis of a progressive industry with the security and confidence to invest. The steps we are outlining today are early measures which signal our intent.”