Witness, Project Fall is a 2013 Good Food Awards Finalist

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (November 29, 2012) — The Good Food Awards is proud to announce this year’s 182 Finalists from 31 states, chosen from among 1,366 entries in nine industries. This year’s Finalists represent the leaders of a growing movement of conscientious, talented food producers in every part of the country, from the producer of Jalapeño Mint Pickles created to reduce food waste at an Austin farmers market to Tarentaise cheese, made at an educational farm in Vermont that hosts 700 children a year.  The 100 winners will be announced in a 400-person black tie Ceremony at the San Francisco Ferry Building ($95) on January 18, 2013, followed by a 15,000-person Good Food Awards Marketplace ($5) on January 19. Winners will sample and sell their winning products at the public Marketplace, which takes place alongside the renowned CUESA Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Tickets and details will be available at www.goodfoodawards.org in mid-December.
“With 40% more entries this year, being a Good Food Awards Finalist means more than ever before,” says Director Sarah Weiner.  “We look forward to seeing some familiar faces in January, and are also excited to recognize dozens of new companies from parts of the country not always thought of as ‘hotbeds of food culture.’ From Utah distillers making some of the best whiskey in the country to a Vermont farmstead goat milk caramel to a Wisconsin brewery whose winning beer is made with barley, wheat, hops and even yeast 100% grown and processed in-state, this year’s Finalists are a diverse and talented group of innovators. Learning what each producer is doing in their part of the country to build a strong food culture for America has been truly inspiring, and I can’t wait to see them gather together in January.”
The desire to create a taste of place was mentioned as a driving force by many of the Finalists. As Tim Young, the producer of Nature’s Harmony Farm Fortsonia Gruyere explained: “It’s critical that our cows’ diet reflects our local terroir. That means they need access to a polyculture of grasses, weeds, forbs, herbs, legumes, etc. from which to choose … this will result in subtle flavors that give the cheese a sense of time and place that cannot be replicated elsewhere. After all, if all dairies are feeding grain to their cows, and if all grain is essentially the same, then how unique can the cheeses really be?”
In geographic trends this year, Washington, D.C. is emerging as a hub of Good Food, with 14 Finalists hailing from its food shed of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Colorado (10), Washington state (10), Wisconsin (9) and Texas (9) all had strong showings. California had the largest number of finalists (43), followed by Oregon (22) and New York (16).
Finalists are those entrants that rise to the top in the Blind Tasting and are also able to clearly articulate how they fit the Good Food Awards industry-specific criteria of environmental and social responsibility. Finalists attested to responsible production by detailing their efforts to eliminate or reduce pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers, source ingredients locally where possible, implement water and energy conservation, ensure traceability to the farm level, practice good animal husbandry and exercise fair and transparent treatment of workers and suppliers.   
The Good Food Awards would not be possible without the generous support of its many partners. We would like to specially thank Whole Foods Market, who has provided critical support since the inception of the Good Food Awards, as well as Williams Sonoma, Bi-Rite Market, the Wisconsin Cheese Milk Marketing Board, HUB Bay Area, CUESA, Dominic Phillips Event Marketing and Veritable Vegetable. Our thanks goes out to the iconic San Francisco Ferry Building for hosting the celebration once again this year, and to the Good Food Merchants Guild Founders Circle for enabling the Good Food Awards to come to life: Bon Appétit Management Company, Good Eggs, the National Association of Specialty Food Traders (NASFT), Whole Foods, Bi-Rite Market, Gamut, Noise13, Good Food Jobs, Buyer’s Best Friend and the Butcher’s Guild.

The Good Food Awards celebrate the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced. For a long time, certifications for responsible food production and awards for superior taste have remained distinct—one honors social and environmental responsibility, while the other celebrates flavor. The Good Food Awards recognize that truly good food—the kind that brings people together and builds strong, healthy communities—contains all of these ingredients.

Now in its third year, Good Food Awards will be given to winners in nine categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, pickles, preserves and spirits. The Good Food Awards Seal, found on winning products, assures consumers they have found something exceptionally delicious that also supports sustainability and social good. The Good Food Awards Gold Seal marks the products of winners who have also obtained certified organic status while also leading in taste and social responsibility.

Seedling Projects, a California public benefit corporation, is led by Sarah Weiner and Dominic Phillips, who have united their diverse skills to support the sustainable food movement. Through focused events and strategic models, it engages the public in finding better ways to feed our communities. Find more information at: www.seedlingprojects.org

Christina Skonberg