Rules & Regulations
- Up to 3 entries are allowed per producer in all categories except for coffee. Up to 2 entries are allowed per coffee producer, each from a different country of origin.
- Producers must wait one year to re-enter a Good Food Award winning product.*
- There is an entry fee for each submission, to cover storage, sorting and transport to the tasting venue.**
- All entry fees are non-refundable due to the high volume of entries.
- Shipping and product costs for entries to be covered by entrant.
- Products must be made in a licensed kitchen, or as required by state and local regulations, and be ready for sale.
- If produced by a copacker (or for Fish, a cannery or processor), the product must be made:
- from the entrant’s own recipe
- with strict sourcing guidelines set by the entrant
- with regular quality control measures set in place
- Ingredients that are part of an entry which fall into one of our other Good Food Awards categories (e.g., honey or olive oil in a snack entry) should meet the sustainability standards of those categories.
- Entrants who score well in the Blind Tasting will be asked to provide more information on sourcing and their sustainability and social responsibility practices to verify they meet the Good Food Awards standards details listed in the Entry Form. Entrants will be disqualified if they do not meet the standards or any statements made are found to be false.
- Additional criteria for large-scale companies:While Good Food Award Winners are overwhelming small companies – more than 80% have a budget of less than $250,000 annually – larger companies have shown increasing interest in the Awards. While they make up less than 1% of the companies that enter, we welcome larger scale companies who honor the criteria of “being an upstanding member of the good food community, committed to equity and inclusion in all levels of their business” in ways that are unique and beyond what is required of smaller companies, due to their unique situation of having substantially more resources.
With that in mind, both publicly-held companies and those with over $100 million in annual revenue are required to meet these additional equity criteria to qualify for a Good Food Award:
- Offers a minimum of 12 weeks of paid parental leave to all employees
- Has at least one woman, minority, or LGBTQ+ representative on their Board of Directors
- Has a proven track record of prioritizing a safe and fairly-compensated work culture, with no violations in the area of wage or workplace safety in the past 5 years.***
*To pave the way for new products and entry-level producers, there is a one-year wait period on re-entering a Good Food Award winning product.
**Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would prefer to pay by check.
***The Good Food Foundation will verify that no such violations have occurred on the Good Jobs First Violation Tracker.
To learn more about any of the following Good Food Awards topics, click below.
The 2021 Awards Entry Period is now closed. The best way to keep in touch with dates for 2022 is signing up for our newsletter at the bottom of the homepage.
The entry process was designed to be as simple as possible. You’ll fill out an online entry form and pay the $78 entry fee per product in July, and mail in a sample of your entry for judging in September. High scorers at the September tasting will be contacted for a vetting interview to verify the ingredient sourcing and production methods of their entry.
To begin, use the short online entry form. This form will be accessible through a button on the home page. The entry form requires basic company information and a self-certification to the responsible production criteria outlined on each form. Please add email@example.com to your email inbox so that you receive all further updates about your entry status.
The 12th annual Good Food Awards will honor food and drink from 18 different categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, cider, coffee, confections, drinks, elixirs, preserved fish, grains, honey, oils, pantry, pickles, preserves, snacks, and spirits. For the types of foods eligible from each category, please view the standards page.
To ensure we can fairly judge the quantity of entries received, each company is limited to 3 entries per category, except for coffee roasters who are restricted to 2 entries. For example, a company that produces both preserves and pickles may enter up to six products, three pickles and three preserves. A separate entry form must be filled out for entries in different categories. Please choose the products you consider to best exemplify the qualities of tasty, authentic and responsible.
- Products are made, packed, and stored in licensed or certified facilities, in a manner that follows all federal, state, and local regulations.
- Products are ready for sale.
- Pickles, Pantry, Elixirs, Preserves: Products considered to be a low-acid or acidified food follow necessary time temperature and pH controls to ensure they are safe for human consumption.
There is a $78 entry fee for each product submitted. This fee goes to offset the cost of processing entries and the Blind Tasting. The fee is payable with a credit card upon completion of the entry form. If you do not have a credit card, you may pay by check (contact us for mailing information at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Due to the high volume of entries, all entry fees are non-refundable, so please ensure the products you enter fit the guidelines outlined on the entry form.
While the entry period occurs in June, shipping of products does not occur until August. Information about how to ship your product will be sent to all entrants by email in late July. Shipping costs are covered by the entrant. The quantity required varies according to category and follows industry standards.
All submissions that meet the criteria for entry as outlined on the entry form will be judged at a socially distanced Blind Tasting in August 2021 in San Francisco. Each category has its own panel of judges with special expertise in the industry, whose names can be found on the website starting in July. In all categories, Awards are given to the top scorers in the Blind Tasting from each region provided they pass the vetting process and meet the minimum tasting scores put in place to ensure that consistent exceptional taste quality is found in all winners across categories and regions.
All Good Food Award Winners will be invited to be honored at an in-person gala awards ceremony in San Francisco on January 14, 2022.
The Good Food Awards honor food produced throughout the United States. In order to fairly represent the diverse food traditions and growing seasons around the country, awards are granted to producers in each of five regions, with judges representing all areas. (See map below for regional breakdown.)
It is our hope that by honoring producers nationwide, we will encourage food producers and small farmers in every pocket of the country.
- Committee Chairs and Members may not serve as judges at the Good Food Awards Blind Tasting.
- Judges may not submit products to the category they are judging. They may submit products to other categories.*
- Only Committee Chairs and Members (up to 3 per category) and Good Food Awards staff may have access to entrant information. They may share the names of submitting companies with committee members as part of the group effort to do outreach for entries, but no other product information.
- Only Committee Chairs may have access to Blind Tasting scores, and may not share the information with anyone besides Good Food Awards staff. If a Committee Chair works for a company entering the Good Food Awards, they will not be the designated Chair who has access to scores. Should both Chairs be affiliated with entering companies, the Good Food Awards will designate an unaffiliated person to collect and coordinate the scoring during the Blind Tasting.
- No more than one person from any given company or organization may serve on each category’s judging panel.*
* Coffee category is exempt from this rule, though efforts will be made to follow it to the extent possible without compromising the level of expertise on the tasting panel.