South West food and drink businesses that have put sustainability at the heart of their work are being invited to take part in this year’s Taste of the West Awards.

The annual awards, which celebrate the region’s food and drink sector include a category recognising food and drink businesses that are leading the way when it comes to sustainability.

The award is sponsored by NatWest who are also one of the primary partners of Taste of the West, an organisation that represents more than 1,000 businesses in the food and drink sector.

John Sheaves, CEO of Taste of the West, said: “The Taste of the West Awards programme has been promoting and supporting the South West food and drink industry for 30 years. It has grown to become the most prestigious food and drink awards programme in the South West and our sustainability category is designed to celebrate businesses in the food and drink industry that are pioneers and leaders in some aspect of sustainability.”

Entries are made online with judges looking for evidence of some or all of the following:

•Novel and ethical product or range.

•Ethical sourcing.

•Development of sustainable packaging.

•More sustainable production methods.

•Carbon management.

•Water management.

•Fossil fuel energy reduction.

•Pioneering wildlife management designed to increase our natural capital.

Previous award winners, Barnaby’s Brewhouse in Staverton, Devon, took their recognition by judges as inspiration to make further investments to the business in sustainability.

Owner Barnaby Harris said: “Barnaby’s Brewhouse was set up with the ethos of ‘Sustainability through Innovation’ and was absolutely delighted to have its environmental efforts recognised as winners of Taste of the West’s South West Sustainability Award in 2019.

“The judges assessed both what we had done to date and what our plans going forward were. This really inspired us to invest more in improving our processes, reducing energy usage and minimising waste both in manufacturing and in the supply chain. We have since worked with Impact Labs on two sustainable technology projects - CO2 recapture from fermentation and balanced energy management in the production process. This led to us being invited to COP26 as one of 5 micro business finalists in the Government’s Heroes of Net Zero competition.”

Craig Cabot, NatWest South West Board, said: “As the biggest supporter of British businesses we know how important the food and drink sector is to the South West economy and how hard the businesses in it work.

“Part of core purpose is to challenge climate change by helping our customers do the same too. Our sector specialist relationship managers therefore are working with businesses in the sector to help them become more sustainable and in doing so we are helping them grow financially too. We are delighted to be supporting an award that recognises the pioneers of the South West who are leading the way in this important area.”

To find out about the judging criteria and to enter your business visit:

The closing date for all entries is March 25.