More than 12,000 votes have already been counted for the Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2019, which is seeking the best food and drink producers, farmers, butchers, and places serving and selling local produce.
The awards for the public vote have been split into six different categories which are Sussex Food Producer of the Year, Sussex Drink Producer of the Year, Sussex Food Shop of the Year, Sussex Butcher of the Year, Sussex Farmers’ Market of the Year and Sussex Eating Experience of the Year.
Votes must be cast for favourites by midnight next Thursday, (January 17) through www.sussexfoodawards.biz.
Co-director of Natural Partnerships CIC, which runs the awards, Paula Seager, said: “It is fantastic to see so many people voting and giving our superb food and drink producers in the region the recognition that they deserve, which is what these awards are all about.
“Businesses from across the county have made it onto the list including 37 from West Sussex, 15 from East Sussex and five from Brighton and Hove.
“The public vote will help our expert judges to select the top three grand finalists 2019 in each category, who will be announced in March.”
Although finalists have been announced in six of the categories, there are three additional categories open for entries.
These additional categories include the Young Sussex Farmer of the Year, Sussex Newcomer of the Year and Sussex Street Food of the Year.
The Young Sussex Farmer of the Year award is seeking a farmer aged 35 or under who is making a real difference on their own or on someone else’s farm, sponsored by the South of England Agricultural Society in association Farmers Weekly.
The Sussex Newcomer of the Year is sponsored by SRC-Time, which could be any new food and drink business doing something special in Sussex.
As well as earning the respect and recognition that these awards carry, grand finalists from all categories will be invited to attend a BAFTA-style ceremony on Wednesday, May 15 at the Amex Stadium in Brighton, where the winners will be revealed and 400 guests will enjoy a seven-course Sussex produce banquet hosted by awards patron Sally Gunnell OBE and Danny Pike from BBC Sussex.
For further information and details of last year’s awards, visit www.sussexfoodawards.biz/winners.