wiskyThe Rural Oscars are closed to nominations for 2016, but we are happy to let retailers and customers know exactly what we are looking for in this competition and what we really need to know about each business in order to judge them fairly. Below are the guidelines that the national judging panel works to.

These are merely guidelines, not an exhaustive list, and please remember that the two “tests” of this Awards scheme are “community values” (which in some categories include a strand of educating and supporting the next generation) and “commitment to produce or skill.” When judging it is the quality of the nomination that we focus on, so “I nominate Bob because his sausages are the best” won’t really cut it – tell us why Bob’s sausages are the best – is it because they are made from locally reared, locally slaughtered pigs, or is it because Bob tries different recipes and takes sausage-making to a whole new level? We want to know about our nominees and what they do – we want to hear about them as three dimensional characters who are contributing to rural life.

The categories are:

Local Food Award
Village Shop/ Post Office Award
Tourism Enterprise
Farm Enterprise
Butcher

The criteria we are looking for in each category are as follows:

 

Local Food 

  • Is this retailer championing ‘local food’ and supporting other local producers?
  • Has the community been put on the map by the quality and diversity of local produce being sold, and breathed life into the community/ local economy?
  • Is there a passionate commitment from the retailer?•Has this retailer saved or promoted a traditional local food that may otherwise have been lost?
  • Would winning this competition reward a really special enterprise and tell a positive story about rural life?
  • Previous winners of this category are Pipers Farm in Devon, HFG Farm collective in Norfolk, Foxbury Farm in Oxfordshire, Beadlam Grange Farm Shop in Yorkshire and Weetons of Harrogate also in Yorkshire. Those promoting the best of British, supporting our producers, taking the time to educate and inspire the next generation and paving the way to a bright future for British produce are honoured here.

 

Daily Telegraph Village Shop/ Post Office 

  • Are the owners of this shop the hub of the community, playing the key role of the rural local shopkeeper?
  • Do the owners of this shop go above and beyond the call of duty?
  • Are the owners of this shop ambassadors for local produce, helping their community to make informed choices about where their food comes from and giving them the chance to support their local producers?Is the guiding motivation a sense of community?
  • Do these retailers deserve this national recognition and can they be an inspiration for all village shop owners at a time when so many are failing?
  • Previous winners of this category are Orford Stores in Suffolk, Nettleton Shop & Post Office in Wiltshire, Morgan’s in Carmarthenshire and David Carr’s Northumberland corner shop. Here, the personalities behind the counter are what form the heart of this category. We want to hear about the incredible characters who serve their community day in, day out and never ask for praise. We are going to praise them, whether they like it or not.

 

Tourism Enterprise

  • Is this business putting its local area on the map?
  • Is this business enhancing the local economy and community, as well as welcoming tourists to this corner of Britain?
  • Would the area suffer if this business were not there?
  • Is there a commitment to the future of the countryside, to jobs and to the local community?
  • Is this business pushing the boundaries of what has been done before?
  • Will this business continue to fly the flag for the local area for some time to come?

 

Farm enterprise

  • Is this a diverse and energetic business?
  • Is more going on at this farm than the core farming activities?
  • Is there a commitment to educating the next generation?
  • Is this business a growing asset to its community and making a real contribution?
  • Does this business enhance the local area?
  • Would winning this award be a well-deserved boost and help the business to develop further for the good of the community and the local economy?

Butcher category

  • Is this retailer a qualified and experienced butcher?
  • Is there a high regard for animal welfare?
  • Is this butcher championing ‘local food’ and supporting other local producers?
  • Has this retailer put the community on the map via the quality and diversity of local produce being sold, and have they breathed life into the community/ local economy?
  • Is traditional butchery at the heart of the enterprise?
  • Has this retailer saved or promoted a traditional local food that may otherwise have been lost?
  • Would winning this competition reward a really special enterprise and tell a positive story about rural life and the farming industry?
  • Does the retailer make an effort to meet their farmers?
  • Is educating the next generation a priority?