The Guild was formed in 1995 with a mission to create close links between suppliers and retailers in the independent food sector. With over 1300 members across the UK, it communicates to retailers, producers and suppliers through the ‘industry voice’, Fine Food Digest magazine. Through its unique membership database of accredited suppliers, it identifies thousands of speciality food lines available exclusively to the independent sector, enabling retail members to establish a point of difference between themselves and the supermarkets.
In 1996, the Guild launched the London Speciality & Fine Food Fair and it continues to organise exhibitions in Yorkshire and Scotland under the banner of Speciality Food Fairs. The Guild also designs and manages professionally-accredited training programmes for multiples, food halls and independents which enable us to reach over 800 counter-staff each year and impress upon them the importance of food retailing.
Since 1994 the Guild has organised the Great Taste Awards, the national benchmark for speciality food and drink, which now attracts over 8000 entries each year. The GTA has gained widespread recognition among the country’s retailers and consumers and is now seen as the benchmark for fine food in the UK. Those products fortunate enough to receive an award cannot only claim to be of the finest quality, but prove it too. All entries undergo rigorous tests by a specially selected panel of experts, including leading chefs, buyers, food critics and deli owners.
The Guild also organises the World Cheese Awards which was first staged in 1988 in London, where it has been staged every year since. Now the awards had grown into the largest international event of its type in the world.
Retail membership - any fine food retailer including delicatessens, farm shops, food halls, garden centres and butchers.
Producer membership - any food producer supplying our retail market.
Associate member - any other business involved in the fine food and drink sector.