Cannon & Cannon and the The Charcuterie Board announce Awards Partnership

John Gower and The Charcuterie Board team will take on the judging of the 2020 British Cured Meat Awards, making the awards a fully independent element within the established Cannon & Cannon event. 

The Charcuterie Board will administer, run and judge the awards. Entry fees will be free for TCB members and the awards will be announced in November 2020 at the (soon to be announced) C & C British Cured Meat Festival in London.

Cannon & Cannon will remain the organiser and headline sponsor of the awards and festival but look forward to collaborating with The Charcuterie Board as we take the awards into the next decade. 

New categories, judges, entry applications and timings will be announced shortly.”

Many of you may have seen the recent announcement and we thought it would be useful to explain a little more of the detail.

The Charcuterie Board was invited to collaborate with the British Cured Meat Festival Awards because the organisers, C & C, were keen to move forward with their existing event, but in a way that ensured that the Awards themselves were truly independent, administered separately from their Festival and left them free to concentrate on their principle role as the events’ sponsors & organisers.

It was felt that, this way, entrants would have complete confidence in the Judging and Awards process itself but also left C & C free to focus on throwing a great party which, for 2020, will include a food market, talks, entertainment and demonstrations all centred around championing the UK Charcuterie scene.

Having been involved in Charcuterie Awards both here in the UK and in the USA, The Charcuterie Board team were happy to collaborate if it meant helping bring transparency and genuine improvement to existing areas of the scene, but we were also keen, if we were to become involved, that we could do things ‘our way’ and run the assessment process exactly how we think it is done best. 

This means best for the producers who take the time and effort to enter, best for the integrity of the Awards themselves and also importantly, to ensure that these Awards had a distinctive character of their own within the wider sector which has many well established Award schemes already in place. Luckily, C & C were happy for us to do exactly this and run things the way we wanted!

How will we be doing this?

Well first, Entry Applications will open, this will just involve registering as an entrant and providing the details of the products coming in for judging. Great news if you are a producer member of The Charcuterie Board as all entries will be completely FREE! (for non members there will be a charge per item).

These awards are going to specifically focus on air dried products, so will feature air dried whole muscle and salami style products, as well as a ‘snacking’ category. 

Secondly, all entrants registered by the closing date will be allotted a month in which their products will be assessed. Judging will be done by assessing small groups of products each month within a relaxed and unhurried atmosphere. Judging will be carried out by a range of Charcuterie experts, food industry figures and enthusiastic consumers. Each groups results will then form part of the full results database. 

At this stage all producers who have entered products that are ‘in the running’ for awards will be notified and asked to provide a second sample of the relevant products.  

Once all of the products have been assessed, this second sample of those that have been recommended for specific recognition will be reviewed all together to decide, confidentially at this stage, on the top honours – think of this as the semi finals! 

All of the entrants who have had second samples ‘recognised’ will also be offered an opportunity to attend a ‘meet the buyers’ event, where wholesalers, distributors and retail buyers will get a chance to sample the cream of the crop and chat with producers about potential supply. 

The results of the judging process will be announced at the Cannon & Cannon UK Cured Meat Festival in November 2020, where they will be awarded either ‘Judges Recommendation’, ‘Judges Choice’ or ‘Best in Class’. The top producer will also be awarded the ‘Producer of the Year’. 

We are really pleased to be a part of this collaboration, not just because it means we can bring a free to enter national awards to our TCB members or because it will create a really interesting, relaxed and enjoyable awards process, but also because it fulfils objectives that are the boards main mission. The bringing together and supporting of existing separate elements of the UK charcuterie sector, to help create something better for all of us. We would love you to be a part of it!   

Applications for entries will be announced shortly and make sure you join up at our currently reduced rate to then save even more with the FREE entry to the awards.