The Best of Organic Market (BOOM) Awards, which recognise pioneering organic products, remarkable retailers and restaurants and bloggers who promote organic food and living, were held earlier this month. The winners were chosen by an independent judging panel of well-known chefs, restauranteurs, food writers and specialists, celebrity foodies and consumer judges. Former chef and food stylist for Jamie Oliver, Anna Jones, was is year’s BOOM Ambassador.
Winners of the prestigious BOOM (Best of Organic Market) Awards were announced on 11 May at a glittering ceremony held at Borough Market Hall in London. This year’s winning products were as varied as they were delicious – ranging from organic wine to indulgent ice-creams, gourmet cheese, quality veg and ethical meat and poultry.
This year, the BOOMs went interactive, using social media to stir up interest and the addition of a new ‘Nation’s Favourite’ category gave people a chance to choose their favourite product. The winner is particularly exciting for those with a sweet tooth.
This year’s winners were:
Alcoholic Drinks – Davenport Vineyards Diamond Field Pinot Noir (East Sussex)
Pantry – Hodmedad’s British Carlin Peas (Suffolk)
Bakery – Doves Farm Organic Plain English Wholemeal Flour (Berkshire)
Confectionery – Original Beans Femmes De Virunga 55% Organic Milk Chocolate (Amsterdam)
Dairy, Yoghurt and Milk – Brown Cow Organics Strawberry & Vanilla Panna Cotta (Somerset)
Non-alcoholic Drink – Plenish Level 1 Cleanse (London)
Baby Food – Aldi Mamia Apple and Banana Breakfast (Nationwide)
Toddler Food – Quinola Mothergrain Tex Mex Quinoa (France)
Children’s Food – Mendia’s Banana Biscuits
Fresh Produce – Aldi Organic Onions (supplied by G’s Fresh and Moulton Bulb Company (Nationwide)
Chilled and Frozen Convenience – The Nude Spoon Creamy Coffee Kiss (ice cream) (Surrey)
Meat and Poultry – Daylesford Kerry Hill Shoulder of Lamb (Gloucestershire)
Soft and Speciality Cheese – Caws Cenarth Golden Cenarth (Cardigan, Wales)
Hard Cheese – Arla Foods Taw Valley Creamery – Waitrose Duchy Mature Organic English Cheddard (Nationwide)
Innovation – OMSCo Milk Suppliers Cooperative (Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset)
Food Blog – Rebel Recipes, Nikki Webster (www.rebelrecipes.com)
Rising Star – Barra Organics (Sheffield)
Cafes and Restaurants – The Edinburgh Larder at Whitmuir Farm (Edinburgh)
Farm Shops – Pillars of Hercules (Fife)
Online Retailer – Ocado (Nationwide)
Supermarkets – Waitrose (Nationwide)
Catering – Oldham Education Catering (Manchester)
Indie Retailer – Unicorn Grocery (Manchester)
Places to Stay – Bangors Organic (Cornwall)
Consumer Choice – Nation’s Favourite Organic Award – Booja-Booja (Norfolk)
Anna Jones she said: “I believe that food and eating should be joyful, and good organic produce is at the centre of this joy. There has been a real shift towards people wanting to know the origins of what they’re eating – from where it was grown to who planted the seeds -and organic produce has these values at its core. I am excited to celebrate the individuals and businesses that are giving us some brilliant choices about what we buy and eat.”
Competition for the 2016 BOOMs was really tough – with almost 500 entries across all categories, the winning products highlight the innovation currently happening in organic food. According to the Soil Association 2016 Organic Market Report, the UK organic market is in its third year of steady growth and is set to break the £2 billion threshold very shortly.
This year’s BOOM category sponsors were Fyffes, OTB and Yeo Valley and sponsors of the award ceremony were Thomas Ridley Foodservice, Ocado and London & Scottish.
Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green
A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:
- They arranged a carpool with their friends.
- They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
- They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
- My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.
My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.
Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm
People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.
How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:
- The Center for Disease Control reports that about two million marriages are formed every year.
- Approximately 70% of all marriages have green elements today.
- This means that 1.4 million marriages are green.
There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.
People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before
Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.
One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:
“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”
Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative
Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.
Cost and Simplicity
A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.
Green Weddings Are the Future
Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.
Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?
Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.
Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.
Fulfilling a Genuine Need
Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.
Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.
After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.
Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.
Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.
Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.
A Fundamental Foresight
Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.
However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.
They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.
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