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Urban bees create a buzz at Great Taste! Great Taste Small Artisan Producer of the Year is announced

Amy Brice

(L-R) John Farrand, Guild of Fine Food, Dale Gibson of Bermondsey Street Bees, Scott Winston of Selfridges, Sarah Gibson of Bermondsey Street Bees and Nigel Barden.

(L-R) John Farrand, Guild of Fine Food, Dale Gibson of Bermondsey Street Bees, Scott Winston of Selfridges, Sarah Gibson of Bermondsey Street Bees and Nigel Barden.

Celebrating the very best in food and drink, Great Taste, the world’s most coveted blind-tasted food awards, has reached its grand finale for 2016. The Great Taste Small Artisan Producer of the Year award has been presented to Bermondsey Street Bees of Southwark, London, for its Bermondsey Street Honey. Already earning a Great Taste 3-star award and a place in the Top 50 Foods this year, the honey wowed the judges with its “surprisingly refreshing taste of limes, mint, fennel and liquorice”.

Designed to nurture new artisan producers, this award, which was created by the Guild of Fine Food, is more than a trophy, as it represents real value to its winner. The prize includes advice and support from a team of relevant professionals to help develop the business and encourage growth.

As this year’s winner, Bermondsey Street Bees will have the opportunity to be fast-tracked into The Seed Academy. This follows the announcement at the Great Taste Golden Forks Dinner of a new partnership between Great Taste and The Seed Fund, a philanthropic fund that was established to inspire, encourage and support up-and-coming food businesses. From 2017 onwards, Great Taste award-winning producers, who fit the criteria, will also be able to apply to The Seed Fund, for their chance to be shortlisted for a summer programme of learning, mentoring and networking. One winner will then benefit from a full year of mentoring, branding and business support from The Seed Fund, a prize estimated to be worth over £100,000.

The award, which is presented each year to a producer who is at an early stage of their business, or has two or less employees, was presented to Bermondsey Street Bees founder and creator, Dale Gibson, in front of over 300 guests from the world of fine food at the Great Taste Golden Forks Dinner, held on Monday 5 September at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington.

The Small Artisan Producer of the Year award was sponsored by Selfridges.

More information on the Great Taste Awards and the Guild of Fine Food can be found at www.gff.co.uk/awards/great-taste-awards.

For more information about Bermondsey Street Bees visit www.bermondseystreetbees.co.uk.