Mayor salutes London’s food and drink producers at Urban Food Awards

21 September 2016

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, hailed the capital’s dedicated and talented legion of food and drink producers at tonight’s Urban Food Awards.

Some of the city’s brightest and best producers are celebrating after being selected top of their individual categories in the third annual marker event for the very best food and drink produced by London companies with 50 employees or fewer.

The group of locally-based producers were crowned at an awards event at the capital’s world famous Borough Market on Wednesday night, recognising their outstanding contributions to London’s food scene.

Thousands of Londoners voted for their top growers, products and retailers at the Urban Food Awards, which is organised by City Hall, Borough Market and London Food Link. A panel of judges including chefs Tom Hunt, Rowley Leigh and Oliver Rowe and food writer Olia Hercules had the enviable task of whittling down the shortlist in 11 food and drink categories.

This year, the new Mayor presented a brand new award recognising the innovative use of surplus food. The Best Surplus Food Initiative award recognises excellent work being done by producers to avoid food waste, in a city where the Evening Standard’s campaign Food for London has shown 875,000 Londoners worry about where their next meal is coming from.

The award was won by Gourmet Goat, which uses surplus goat meat from dairy farms, vine leaves from Forty Hall Vineyard in Enfield and other surplus products to make delicious eastern Mediterranean-style dishes.

Sadiq Khan said: “I salute the breadth and expertise of the huge numbers of Londoners producing and growing the very best food and drink and it’s fantastic to see their entrepreneurship flourishing in our great city.

“It was a privilege to present the Best Surplus Food Initiative award - it’s a tragedy that so much food goes wasted in the capital when some Londoners are going hungry every day and I’m delighted that Gourmet Goat and the other nominees are tackling the problem in such a creative and effective way.”

Other winners on the night included the Food Assembly, who won the Best Retailer category, after building a community network of 12,000 members in London buying fresh food directly from local farmers and producers.

Growing Communities – a Hackney-based social enterprise – won Roots to Work for using their own farms to grow food for a vegetable scheme to teach people how to grow and cook local organic food. The winners of Capital Growth’s Growing Enterprise were Forty Hall Community Vineyard after its first release of wine for sale to the public.

Gourmet Goat collected its second award of the night after scooping Sustainable Street Food, while Bee Collective picked up Most Inspiring Producer for providing a honey extraction service to London beekeepers and volunteering opportunities.

Donald Hyslop, Chair of Trustees of Borough Market said: London’s food and drink scene is more diverse than it has ever been—you can see this every day as Borough Market’s traders set out their stalls for the day—and it is these people who make this city such a compelling place to eat and drink who we are celebrating at the Urban Food Awards. This is a city whose food scene crackles with innovation and ambition, a place where people are throwing themselves into the production of food with an energy and enthusiasm that can’t help but drag you along with it.”

Chris Young of London Food Link said: "As the voice for good food in the capital, London Food Link is delighted each year to help run the Urban Food Awards in order to celebrate the best of the food grown, made, cooked and saved right here on our doorstep, and the inspirational people behind the enterprises doing so."

Notes to editors

Urban Food Awards

  • The Urban Food Awards (UFAs) were launched in 2014 and celebrate London’s small food enterprises and people, highlighting the wealth of food produced right here in the capital.
  • This year’s ceremony was held at Borough Market.
  • The UFAs are delivered by the Greater London Authority in partnership with Borough Market and London Food Link.
  • Aside from the award presented by the Mayor – Best Surplus Food Initiative – the awards were split into categories: People and Produce.
  • The People categories were voted for by the public and winners judged by representatives from Borough Market, London Food Link and GLA – with nearly 3,500 public votes received.
  • The Produce categories were voted for by a judging panel of well-known chefs and food writers (Olia Hercules, Tom Hunt, Rowley Leigh and Oliver Rowe).

Reducing food waste

  • The Mayor is providing £300,000 funding for three new social supermarkets, which sell surplus food donated by retailers for a third of the usual cost to their members. They will support more than 2,000 Londoners on low incomes, who will also receive support in addressing the causes of poverty.
  • City Hall is working with partners on a programme of education and support around food waste, working with charities, public bodies, London boroughs and private companies to help them cut the amount of food they throw away.

Borough Market – Borough Market is London’s most renowned food market; a source of exceptional British and international produce. www.boroughmarket.org.uk

Borough has long been synonymous with food markets and as far back as 1014, and probably much earlier, London Bridge attracted traders selling grain, fish, vegetables and livestock.  In the 13th century traders were relocated to what is now Borough High Street and a market has existed there ever since.

For more information about Borough Market, its Traders and events please visit www.boroughmarket.org.uk

London Food Link - Part of the charity Sustain, London Food Link is the organisation dedicated to championing the best of London’s local larder and bringing together the people who grow, produce, teach, peddle and enjoy good food in the capital. Current initiatives include the Capital Growth network of community food gardens, the Good Food For London Report and the London Food Poverty Campaign. Everyone is welcome to join the network and receives great benefits in return, including The Jellied Eel magazine and a range of discounts. www.londonfoodlink.org

APPENDIX - Award winners

  • Best Surplus Food Initiative (presented by the Mayor of London) 

Gourmet Goat

Gourmet Goat creates and sells eastern Mediterranean village-style dishes using sustainable ingredients (including: kid meat from UK dairy farms; vine leaves from Forty Hall Vineyard in Enfield; whey cheese, a by-product of the cheese industry, organic wheatberries – a by-product from bread production; and offal from Crete).

 

Why they won:  Gourmet Goat is proof that street food does not need to be ‘fast’ food and can be truly sustainable and address a surplus issue created by an industry – whilst also tasting great. They are helping to transform attitudes to London’s street food scene and are proof that reducing surplus and a commitment to sustainability can run through every aspect of a street food business and if other vendors followed their lead, we would go a long way in reducing the issue of surplus food.

 

People awards

 

  • Best Retailer
    Open to shops, stalls, box schemes, local markets and online outlets leading the way in offering a marketplace for small batch London producers

 

Food Assembly

The Food Assembly is a community network that brings people together to buy fresh food directly from local farmers and food makers. Food Assembly customers order food online from local producers before picking the food up at a weekly collection. The Food Assembly has over 12,000 members in London buying local, seasonal and environmentally friendly food.

 

Why they won: A great initiative connecting producers with customers, building that vital link in the food chain.

 

  • Roots to Work

Celebrating organisations helping people learn the ropes of the food trade, by running training in growing, making or selling

 

Growing Communities

Growing Communities is a social enterprise run by local people in Hackney.  Growing Communities runs a farmers’ market, a vegetable scheme and urban patchwork farms. They use their farms to grow food for the veg scheme and teach people how to grow and cook local organic food.

 

Why they won: A glowing example showing how a community benefits from learning about food production, whilst showing how this can be integrated in all aspects of our work; whether at school, at home or in business.

 

  • Capital Growth’s Growing Enterprise

Entrepreneurs generating income from and for their community food gardens

 

Forty Hall Community Vineyard

Forty Hall Community Vineyard is an award-winning, community-led social enterprise in Enfield, which delivers skills development, health and social benefits to local people. As well as operating as a local, sustainable food project and small not-for-profit business, FHCV offers exciting opportunities for safe and supported volunteering, therapeutic support, learning and socialising in a beautiful and unique outdoor setting.

 

Why they won: With the first release of wine for sale to the public with the terroir of Enfield, this is a unique social business model deserves recognition.

 

  • Sustainable Street Food

Must clearly demonstrate ethical/sustainable practices

Gourmet Goat

Gourmet Goat creates and sells eastern Mediterranean village-style dishes using sustainable ingredients (including: kid meat from UK dairy farms; vine leaves from Forty Hall Vineyard in Enfield; whey cheese, a by-product of the cheese industry, organic wheatberries – a by-product from bread production; and offal from Crete).

Why they won:  Gourmet Goat is proof that street food does not need to be ‘fast’ food and can be truly sustainable and address a surplus issue created by an industry – whilst also tasting great. They are helping to transform attitudes to London’s street food scene and are proof that reducing surplus and a commitment to sustainability can run through every aspect of a street food business and if other vendors followed their lead, we would go a long way in reducing the issue of surplus food.

  • Most Inspiring Producer

The person or team behind growing/making and selling great food or drink of any sort in London in a way that sets a good food benchmark for others

Bee Collective

Bee Collective helps people across London to help bees.  It provides a honey extraction service to London beekeepers and volunteering opportunities so everyone can get involved. Bee Collective sell s London honey and other hive products to cover their costs, and develops partnership projects to improve London’s landscape for bees.

Why they won: A unique initiative offering a vital service to London’s apiarists with social engagement and education at the core of the business.

Produce categories winners

  • Beautiful Brew

Open to all types/styles of beer or ale produced in London

Winners: Queen of Diamonds IPA – Wild Card Brewery - Good and cloudy in appearance with a zippy full flavour with a lovely bitterness

  • Heavenly Honey

Collected from hives in London boroughs, not just blended/packaged here

Winners: Bermondsey Street Honey – Bermondsey Street Bees - Floral and rich with great viscosity with a taste that lingers in the mouth

  • London Leaves

For growers that sell their own London-grown mixed salads

Winners: Supergreen Frilly Mixed Salad – GrowUp Urban Farms - zesty and powerful in taste. A good balance between peppery, acidic and earthy

  • Londoners’ Loaf – plain

Real bread made without any artificial additives or processing aids.

Winners: The Brick House Miche – Brick House Bakery - good sourdough tang with complex flavour. Very dark with impressive even crumb.

  • Londoners’ Loaf – special

Real bread made without any artificial additives or processing aids, with one or more extra natural ingredients

Winners: Double Chocolate Sourdough – Brick House Bakery - great crust and crumb with a good balance of sweet and sour flavours

  • Proper Preserves

Jam, chutney or other preserve made in London without artificial additives of any kind from fruit or veg grown in London or from surplus produce

Winners: Fruit Cheese – Fruit Magpie - aromatic in flavour with great acidity, clear apricot colour and a good shine.