Dorset Magazine launches the Dorset Food, Drink & Farming Awards 2020!

PUBLISHED: 10:12 11 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:18 11 June 2020

Nominations for the Dorset Food, Drink & Farming Awards 2020 are now open! Headline sponsor: Dorset Food & Drink

Nominations for the Dorset Food, Drink & Farming Awards 2020 are now open! Headline sponsor: Dorset Food & Drink


It’s that time again, the Dorset Food, Drink & Farming Awards are open for nominations.

However, understandably, in the current circumstances, we have had to adapt how we champion and highlight the region’s food and drink sector, but we still want to celebrate the fantastic businesses on our doorstep. We know the recognition that these awards provide makes a substantial impact on local businesses, and there has never been a better time for us to support Dorset’s local food and drink industry. We’ve had to assess what types of business we can ask you to nominate. We will also be holding a winners’ celebration, when it is safe to do so, instead of our usual awards evening.

We are asking all our readers and businesses alike to nominate in these new-look awards, with its new categories highlighting how the people behind Dorset’s food and drink businesses, great and small, supported their local communities and how they have adapted to the challenges of a county in lockdown.

Head to our dedicated awards website: to nominate and support your local food and drink heroes.

Keep up to date @DorsetMag #DFDFA

Best Independent Food & Drink Retailer

Sponsored by NFU Mutual Wessex

This is your chance to nominate your local food shop. Shout about your favourite deli, baker, butcher or food retailer who deserves this accolade. Look out for stalwarts that continue to supply products made and grown here in Dorset. This retailer will have a genuine passion for our food and drink scene and a dedication to provide and deliver for the local community.

Best Farm Shop

Sponsored by Furleigh Estate

Any chef or food enthusiast will tell you the importance of fresh ingredients in their dishes, and it doesn’t come fresher than a farm shop. The key to a good farm shop is not only the range of produce but also the principles that it supports. Does your local farm shop offer a box scheme? Is most of the produce available grown and raised on that farm or would the staff be able to tell you where it is sourced from?

Food Producer of the Year

Local producers dedicate their lives to their produce. They consistently deliver a high stand of produce. Preserves to cheese, meat to sweet treats we want to hear about those food products that are tickling your tastebuds. Who has been your food producer of choice during these challenging times? Why do they deserve the title of best food producer in Dorset?

Drinks Producer of the Year

Artisan drinks have become the go-to in recent years with independent brewers and distilleries dominating the beverage market, and our home comforts have become even more important in recent months through lockdown. Cider, juice, beers, ales, soft drinks, wine and spirits - we want to know who your favourites are and why. Does it use locally source ingredients? Does it have a Dorset twist to it? What entices you to the product?

Entrepreneur of the Year

Sponsored by Saffery Champness

Leading a small business is a notoriously difficult task that involves many hats to secure a thriving operation. This category recognises the achievements of those who have mastered this balancing act. We are looking for individuals at the helm of a Dorset based food or drink related business who have achieved growth, understand their customers and are continually innovating to support future expansion.

Community Food/Drink Initiative Award

Sponsored by Clipper Teas

We are seeking projects that have come to fruition during the Covid-19 crisis to help support the local community. With so many Dorset communities going the extra mile; showing resilient strong connections, acts of kindness, decency and lifting people’s spirits, we want you to tell us about the projects in your Dorset town or village that should be nominated. Think altruistic community kitchens, loyalty schemes or expanding services.

Business Collaboration Award

We are looking for food and drink businesses that have come together to create a new service that has strengthened the local food and drink scene. The collaboration may solely be between food and drink businesses or it could be with another local business that has enabled a broader offering. From the onset of lockdown we have seen Dorset businesses stepping up and taking bold, decisive action in the face of an unprecedented crisis. This is a chance to celebrate those businesses who have come together to create a special food/drink offering during these challenging times that has the potential to continue after.

Best Local Food/Drink Delivery Experience

This is your opportunity to praise those who have adapted to the social distancing measures by bringing your food/drink items (excluding meals) to you. From greengrocers to breweries, butcher to cheesemaker, we want to hear about the local businesses you would usually shop at that have adapted the way of getting their products safely to you. How are they making their delivery experience stand out?

Best Dining Experience to go

This category is to celebrate the many restaurants, hotels and pubs that have been providing high end meals to go. There are many examples across the county where a venue that would normally be welcoming diners has adapted their business to either deliver their meals which are ordered in advance, or is offering a pick up/take out on certain days. Who are still providing the level of service you would receive when dining out? What menus have got you hitting speed dial on a regular basis?

Chef of the Year

Sponsored by WhitePepper Chef Academy & Cookery School

Dorset has lots of talented chefs who work in a fantastic array of dining establishments. Lockdown has meant that many of these establishments have had to adapt, but who is still making impeccable food for you to enjoy? Who has devoted themselves to serving the best possible locally inspired menus? They will display great technical ability, use a wide range of seasonal produce, celebrate Dorset produce and have an impeccable flair for flavour, texture and presentation.

Dorset Food, Drink & Farming Hero 2020

Sponsored by Dorset Food & Drink

This category celebrates the individual (or individuals) who has made a significant impact to Dorset’s food and drink scene. They will go the extra mile to promote Dorset to a wider audience and is passionate about local produce throughout. They could be known for their achievements across a number of years or they could be someone who has done their upmost to champion the Dorset food, drink or farming scene over recent months. Who is your 2020 Dorset Food, Drink & Farming Hero?

How to nominate

Visit to nominate in any or all the categories. Nominations close midday, Friday August 7 2020

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