ENTRIES for the UK’s only organic food and drink awards are now open.

Run by Soil Association Certification, the Best of Organic Market (BOOM) awards, now in their third year, are open to all organic producers and businesses. Food and drink categories, judged blind purely on taste and quality, include dairy, bakery, meat, fish and alcoholic drinks.

For Scottish organic businesses, an overall 'best Scottish product' prize will be awarded. The category will be chosen from every Scottish product that enters the awards and will be judged by a panel of expert judges from the organic industry, food writers, chefs and bloggers.

Prizes are not just awarded for products found in the shops – organic businesses often do things differently and the Best of Organic Innovation award will recognise pioneering production processes, product innovation and social change makers. A further award will celebrate the organic businesses leading the way in developing new and environmentally sustainable packaging solutions.

Entries for the BOOM awards close on February 28, with judging taking place between April 30 and May 3, ahead of an awards night on June 26.

Joining the Soil Association to celebrate the brightest organic businesses in the UK as 2019’s 'BOOMbassador' is Thomasina Miers. The Masterchef winner and co-founder of Wahaca, the UK’s first carbon-neutral restaurant chain, will take part in judging and open the award ceremony.

Thomasina said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Soil Association Certification to celebrate the best that the organic market has to offer and I’m looking forward to seeing the people and businesses that are creating change within the food industry.

“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Wahaca, and the organic movement’s commitment to creating a food system that produces high quality and sustainable food and drink fits neatly with our ambitions for the future of food.”

Business development manager for Soil Association Certification in Scotland, Isla McCulloch, said: “The organic market is booming, with more people than ever looking for, talking about and choosing organic. Small steps can make a big difference in promoting a better world, and by choosing organic, shoppers are playing their part in supporting a more sustainable food system, working with nature to protect the soil, encourage wildlife, avoid antibiotics and reduce pesticide use.

“Organic farmers and producers have always been innovators and pioneers, and hundreds of products have been launched in the last year alone. The BOOM awards get bigger and bigger each year and are our chance to make some noise about organic, celebrating the amazing food and drink that organic offers.

“These awards are a UK-wide showcase of organic, so I’d encourage any Scottish organic business to enter and give themselves a chance to be recognised as the best that organic has to offer.”

A full list of categories, sub-categories and how to enter will be available on the Soil Association website from January 2019: https://www.soilassociation.org/boomawards/