Artisan Producers, Nonprofits

Good Food, Good Friends

Based in San Francisco, the Good Food Awards (GFA) recognize craft food and drink producers for excellence in both taste and sustainability practices across 13 categories. SHED is proud to call the GFA a good friend, and to be part of growing community of retailers that value the quality, care, and craftsmanship that the GFA salutes.

Rather than just offering consumers another labeling scheme, the GFA offers trust. People who purchase a GFA award-winning cheese, cider, or chocolate are making a financial commitment to create a food system without genetically modified ingredients, synthetic pesticides, and artificial additives.

Each category —  from beer to pickles to preserves — has its own set of criteria for judgement which are revisited each year and based on sustainability.

Rather than merely mandating organic for organic’s sake, these guidelines for entry push the boundaries for food and drink production in America today by encouraging transparency, community building, and social responsibility.

Each and every GFA winner is thoroughly vetted to ensure that they meet or exceed the sustainability criteria. After filling out an online application, entrants send samples of their products for a blind tasting. The highest scorers are notified of their status and must then provide a complete list of their ingredients and sources.

For the most part, producers are proud to share such information, rather than hide behind opaque claims of trade secrets.

Cheesemakers who are asked to certify that their milk is hormone-free share the stories of how they have developed relationships over time with their dairy suppliers. Coffee roasters tell of the growers they support by paying above Fair Trade minimums. This high level of attention to detail and commitment to sourcing transfers confidence to the consumer that they are enjoying something tasty, authentic, and responsibly made.

Founded in 2014, the Good Food Retailers Collaborative is a group of like-minded, forward-thinking grocers, shops, and markets committed to stocking and supporting GFA winners. SHED is proud to be part of an innovative initiative that aligns well with our own sourcing criteria — to give priority to local farmers and producers as well as products that are hand-crafted, organic, and sustainably made.

Overall, we see the SHED pantry as a macrocosm of the home pantry, and seek to provide a well-curated offering of high-quality, essential ingredients.

The GFA is a call to action to buy and make better food and drink. When caramels are made without high fructose corn syrup, when cured meats are made from pigs raised with good animal husbandry practices, and when beekeepers are engaging their local communities through educational programming, the work will just be beginning.

As the organization, now in its seventh year, continues to grow, the criteria will continue to evolve and consider what exactly is “good food.”

 

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