On the heels of a successful inaugural year, Good Food Awards—the first national awards to recognize American craft food producers who excel in superior taste and sustainability—kick starts the second year of its quest for good food. July 6th marks the official launch of a coast-to-coast call for entries of beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, pickles and preserves, and (brand new category) spirits. A blind tasting with Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl, Amanda Hesser, Merrill Stubbs, Nell Newman and over 80 other food movement leaders will determine this year’s 70 winners, who will be showcased in San Francisco at a special one-day Good Food Awards Marketplace within the iconic CUESA Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, with the support of Presenting Sponsor Whole Foods Market.

The awards are helping to fuel a national ‘good food’ renaissance, with both concrete business opportunities and national visibility directed at those who win a Good Food Award. First year successes include dozens of Whole Foods Market stores featuring in-store signage and displays to promote the winners, Williams Sonoma stocking several winning products

in special Good Food Awards displays in 20 stores around the country, and the Ohio House of Representatives honoring its hometown winners with a resolution and ceremony.

“The Awards are a way to publically recognize the people who are not satisfied with the status quo, but continue to push their industries towards greater craftsmanship and sustainability,” said Sarah Weiner, Director of the Good Food Awards. “They are food crafters from small towns and big cities who are maintaining an important piece of our cultural heritage – the food we eat – while enhancing our agricultural landscape and building strong communities.”

In further Good Food news, the awards have responded to the revival in small-scale distillation buzzing across the nation by adding a new spirits category. Led by values of transparency, innovation and responsible production, distillers at the frontier of America’s food culture are encouraged to enter their spirits.

“There are no laws requiring spirits producers to disclose how they made their products, and what, if any, additives they have used,” said Spirits committee chair Jennifer Colliau, owner of Small Hand Foods. “As consumers, we have no way of knowing what the source material is, and how it is treated during the manufacturing process. The Good Food Awards seeks to recognize small companies who are making spirits in an ethical and responsible manner, with attention paid to the ingredients and method used.”

Also new this year, the Good Food Awards will be recognizing a select group of winners with a Gold Seal. While all winners are on the path towards sustainability, and far beyond where the majority of their industry lies, some of these pioneers have reached the stage of full, certified organic status while also leading on taste and social responsibility. The Good Food Awards Gold Seal will honor them for being the gold standard, and showing all of us that it can be done.