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Artisan producer wins national freefrom accolade

Maria Whitehead co-owner & director of Hawkshead Relish, gold award winners Store Cupboard with sponsor Carol Buckley of Organ.

Cumbrian artisan producer of condiments, pickles, relishes and preserves, Hawkshead Relish, picked up a national award on the evening of Wednesday 20th March, at the 2019 FreeFrom Awards, one of only 44 winners to claim gold awards across the 23 award categories.

300 invited guests attended the evening event at Royal College of Physicians, where Maria Whitehead, co-owner and director of Hawkshead Relish discovered that the company had won through against stiff competition; including Asda and Tesco, to claim a gold award in the Store Cupboard category, for their Hawkshead Relish Worcester Sauce.

Store Cupboard – Sponsored by Orgran

Gold: Hawkshead Relish Worcester Sauce, Oumph! Thyme & Garlic and Quinola Mothergrain Express Wholegrain Pilau Style Quinoa

Silver: Asda Free From White Lasagne Sauce, Bellygoodness Curry Sauce, Delina Quinoa & Lentils Healthy Salad, Jakes Boost Banana Boost and The Grassroots Bakery Organic Gluten Free Choc Chip Muffin Mix

Bronze: Asda Free From Green Pesto, Asda Free From Sage & Onion Stuffing Mix, Delina Ethiopian Shiro, Lucy Bee Starseed Organic Fair Trade Raw Omega Oil, Tesco Free From Batter Mix, Tesco Free From Mayonnaise and The Grassroots Bakery Organic Gluten Free Brown Bread Mix

The judges praised the fabulous quality and flavours in Hawkshead Relish’s Worcester Sauce stating: ‘’it has a lovely flavour and is just as tasty as a standard sauce. But it contains great ingredients and is safe…’’

Other category winners included BFree, Coyo and Nairn’s; start-ups included low FODMAP sauce makers Belly Goodness and a range of Indian meals from Chef Akila. Among the supermarkets, Tesco won Retailer of the Year for the fifth successive year – but Asda, Marks and Spencer and Aldi were also all represented. The full list of awards can be found at www.freefromfoodawards.co.uk

The awards founded and run by FreeFromFoodsMatter, the web’s most comprehensive resource for free-from food, celebrate the innovation and imagination shown by the food industry in creating foods that are free of wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, soya, sulphites and other allergens.

Over the last eleven years the awards have become one of the most important fixtures in the freefrom year. In that time the bright yellow awards logo has become recognised as the mark of quality for freefrom foods, widely displayed on winning, commended and shortlisted products on sale everywhere from supermarket shelves to on-line specialist suppliers.

Maria Whitehead, co-owner and director of Hawkshead Relish commented: ‘’We are thrilled to win a gold award in the Store Cupboard category, our Worcester Sauce is most definitely a staple for any home cook and has so many diverse uses in any number of dishes. We understand better than most the issues people can face with regards to allergies and intolerances, so for us it just made plain sense to craft products that everyone can eat. As a company from the very outset we took a conscious decision to make sure that everyone could enjoy what we produced, which is why everything we produce is freefrom, it’s not a fad, it’s really important to us and this recognises the lengths we have gone to over the years to ensure that everyone has access to what we make.’’

‘‘The Freefrom category continues to grow and to surprise us each year’’, said Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, director of the awards, ‘‘as freefrom manufacturers adventure further and further into the realms of ‘normal’ foods and explore the huge opportunities offered by naturally freefrom foods. Meanwhile, the quality just keeps on getting better.’’

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