THE leading accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers in the British Isles has awarded an unprecedented number of awards to local producers – including awarding two gold stars for a locally made cider and oak smoked butter.
The world’s most coveted blind-tasted awards, Great Taste, has just released the Great Taste stars of 2015 and La Robeline Cider Company and La Manche Smokehouse have each been awarded 2-Star Gold.
La Robeline Cider Company, based in St Ouen, has been awarded for its Cidre de Jerri (medium) and St Saviour-based La Manche Smokehouse for its Oak Smoked Jersey Butter.
But they are not alone. 1-Star Gold Awards have also been given to La Mare Wine Estate for its Jersey Black Butter Fudge, and Field Farm for its Pure Jersey Cloudy Sparkling Apple Juice.
All are Genuine Jersey Members and their award-winning produce will be able to carry the gold and black Great Taste label in addition to the distinctive Genuine Jersey mark.
Judged by over 400 of the most demanding palates belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs, producers and a host of food writers and journalists, Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers. When a product wears a Great Taste label it carries a badge of honour but more importantly, the Great Taste logo is a signpost to a wonderful tasting product – hundreds of judges have worked tirelessly to discover the very best, through hours and hours of blind-tasting a total of 10,000 different foods and drinks.
Sarah Matlock of La Robeline Cider Company said: “On a personal basis over the last few years, we have been very aware of the Great Taste Award logo as a sign of quality and flavour so it was logical for us to enter our products to see how they measure up against the best.
“You can therefore imagine how thrilled and proud we are to have won a coveted 2-Gold Star Award for our medium cider which is made from local cider apples with nothing else being added whatsoever. It is an honour to receive such a coveted award and to see that our cider has been judged to be as good as we thought it was. We shall be celebrating in the Royal Square Market this coming Saturday, 8 August, with free tastings.”
Matt Ryan of La Manche Smokehouse Ltd said: “We are delighted to have achieved two gold stars for our Oak Smoked Jersey Butter, especially considering the tough nationwide competition. From our perspective, we are doing well locally but we are hoping to get recognition – both for our products and Genuine Jersey – outside of the Island and a Great Taste Award will provide a strong platform as we explore export markets.
“We will certainly reflect on our success and then look to create new opportunities, which will hopefully benefit our business, our supplier Jersey Dairy and the Island as a whole.”
The Genuine Jersey mark is the guarantee of local provenance and is recognised as a byword for the best the Island has to offer. To carry the mark, goods have to be reared, grown or caught in Jersey or created by accredited Islanders and local businesses who qualify to be members of the Genuine Jersey Products Association www.genuinejersey.com
There were 10,000 Great Taste entries this year and of those products, 130 have been awarded a 3-star, 597 received a 2-star and 2,382 were awarded a 1-star accolade.
Great Taste is the largest and most trusted accreditation scheme for specialty and fine food & drink. Established in 1994, it encourages and mentors artisan food producers, offering a unique benchmarking and product evaluation service leading to an independent accreditation that enables small food and drink businesses to compete against supermarket premium own label brands.
Since 1994 over 100,000 products have been evaluated. This year 10,000 products were blind-tasted by panels of specialists: top chefs, cookery writers, food critics, restaurateurs and fine food retailers.