Great Taste judging resumes
Judges will blind-taste, assess and provide comments remotely, before awarding stars from respected accreditation scheme
27 May 2020 | 0
Following nearly two months of delays to this year’s Great Taste judging process, the Guild of Fine Food has announced the recommencement of this year’s competition, with regular members of the panel now judging from home.
Working with teammates online to “ensure that robust judging standards are maintained and the quality of feedback is not compromised”, the guild says judges will blind-taste, assess and provide comments remotely, before awarding stars from the world’s largest food and drink accreditation scheme.
As judging was interrupted by lockdown measures just two weeks into the schedule, the organisers still have over 11,000 products left to judge, out of this year’s 12,734 entries.
Necessitating a swift reinvention of the competition’s goods handling operation, the remote judging system has been designed to uphold the key aspects of Great Taste’s rigorous judging process, while maintaining social distancing. Each product will be blind-tasted and appraised by multiple judging teams, bringing in further judges as and when required in order to reach conclusive final ratings.
Promising good news for food and drink producers across the UK, Ireland and beyond, many of whom have reported significant losses in sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s results will provide an important boost for the industry. With one, two and three-star winners set to be announced by late-summer, Great Taste will shine a spotlight on this year’s best products, as well as providing expert feedback, helping producers to bounce back from many months of extremely challenging trading conditions.
“Nothing could have prepared the food and drink industry for what was coming in 2020, but it’s been hugely inspiring to hear how independent producers have adapted their businesses to survive,” said John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food.
“Facing cancelled orders, lost opportunities, furloughed staff and prolonged uncertainty, everyone from established brands to tiny start-ups have had to dig deep to weather the lockdown, so we knew we had to find a way to get Great Taste back up-and-running and provide a lift for these businesses,” Farrand added.
“With so many people stacking their cupboards with mass-produced items during the current crisis, they’re going to be in need of something a bit special on the other side, especially in the run-up to the all-important Christmas period. Rest assured, our Great Taste judges will find it.”