Calling all multiple retailers, independents, symbol groups and wholesalers: have you got what it takes to go for gold?

This week The Grocer starts its annual search for the best in the business with the launch of The Grocer Gold Awards 2005.

And it is inviting entries in the categories for best own label range development, best consumer initiative and best business initiative.

In best own label, it will reward products based on strong concepts that show a clear understanding of market developments. The best consumer initiative could be any customer-facing activity, from store format development to ads, but you must show the impact it has had on your business.

The best business initiative could be a supply chain project, a technology development or any novel wholesaler scheme designed to get retail customers to spend more. Again, you must show how it delivered.

In addition, those independent retailers who feature on The Grocer Top 50 ranking, which it publishes next February, can enter for best independent chain of the year. And it will be launching a new award for best wholesaler - which will be open to those companies that feature on a new ranking - which will be unveiled early next year.

There will be awards for branded and own label suppliers based on exclusive research carried out by The Grocer. And it will be looking for the year’s best npd by a brand - based on the products shortlisted in the Top Products survey.

As always, panels of independent and highly qualified judges will decide The Grocer's awards. The panel for best independent and best wholesaler will be chaired by Roger Pedder, chairman of Clarks Shoes and Silentnight; the panel for best own label and best npd by a brand will be chaired by Rita Clifton, chair of Interbrand; the panel for best business initiative will be led by Chris Poole, logistics director of Procter & Gamble and co-chair of ECR UK; and the panel for best consumer initiative will be headed up by Cliff Burrows, chief executive of Starbucks UK.

The awards will be presented during a special dinner in London on June 15, where The Grocer will also unveil the winners of The Grocer 33 awards (including a new award for online retailer of the year); reveal the retailer that is the country’s favourite supermarket; and name the company judged to be The Grocer of the Year.

To find out more, please call Emma Wiles on 01293 610282. But hurry: the deadline for entries is March 2005.