The Awards, which recognise excellence in speciality foods, attracted a record 2,553 entries this year across 23 classes.
But judges observed there were as many poor entries as "sublime" ones. "There were extremes in both directions," said Bob Farrand, national director of The Guild of Fine Food Retailers.
"Some were from start-ups trying to jump on the speciality bandwagon. They did not pay enough attention to authenticity and quality."
Over 250 products were awarded gold, taking them onto the supreme champion judging at the London Speciality & Fine Food Fair on September 8.
>> Focus pp39-47