Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jola Szubielski, Lisa Koumjian 518-457-0752

January 20, 2017

State Agriculture Commissioner Congratulates Good Food Awards Finalists

Competition Recognizes Craft Food and Beverage Producers in the Country Who Excel in Taste and Environmentally Sustainable Practices

New York Finalists From Seven Regions Highlight Quality and Diversity of State's Craft Food and Beverage Industry

Proposal in Governor's Executive Budget Includes New Grant for Craft Beverage Producers to Enter Products in National Competitions

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today congratulated 18 New York companies from seven regions across the State on their recognition as finalists for the annual Good Food Awards.   The national competition recognizes the country’s best craft food and beverage producers who excel in both taste and sustainable practices in the production of their products.  New York’s finalists were selected from more than 2,000 entries from more than 30 states.  The winners will be announced today, Friday, January 20 in San Francisco.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “New York’s food and beverage producers are second to none when it comes to making delicious products sourced from local ingredients.  As seen with our New York State Grown & Certified program, we know that New York’s farmers are leading the way in regard to growing high-quality food and doing it the right wayŚwith a focus on food handling practices and environmental sustainability.  I congratulate all of the finalists in this competition and wish them continued success.”

Now in its seventh year, the Good Food Awards celebrate craft food and beverage producers of all sizes who help create and support vibrant, sustainable local food economies.  The awards are presented to winners in fourteen categories, such as beer, cider, cheese and honey.  The entries are evaluated in a blind tasting of more than 220 expert judges, including top chefs and food industry representatives.  Those who score the highest in the blind tasting are then assessed on a wide variety of criteria, including use of local and nutritious ingredients and sustainable and environmentally sound practices. 

New York producers from seven regions across the state are finalists in the following ten categories:

Dickson’s Farmstand Meats, Head Cheese (New York City)
Hudson & Charles, Chicken Liver Pate (New York City)

Fruition Chocolate, Mara˝ˇn Canyon Dark Milk 68% & Hudson Valley Bourbon Dark Milk 61% (Mid-Hudson)

Bad Seed Hard Cider, IPC (Mid-Hudson)
Eve’s Cidery, 2015 Darling Creek, Van Etten (Southern Tier)
Finger Lakes Cider House, Goodlife Barrel Rye (Finger Lakes)
Orchard Hill Cider Mill, Ten66 Pommeau (Mid-Hudson)
Slyboro Cider House, La Sainte Terre (Capital Region)

Fruition Chocolate, Brown Butter Bourbon Caramels (Mid-Hudson)

Regalis Foods, Ikura Shoyu Zuke Caviar (New York City)

Bee’s Needs, Marvelous May (Long Island)

Stony Brook WholeHeartedFoods, Organic Sunflower Seed Oil (Finger Lakes)

Bronx Hot Sauce/Small Axe Peppers, Bronx Hot Sauce (New York City)
XILLI, Salsa Macha (New York City)

Food and Ferments, Sea King Sauerkraut (Central NY)
Holy Schmitt’s, Original Horseradish (Long Island)

Breuckelen Distilling, 77 Whiskey: Local Rye and Corn (New York City)
Nahmias et Fils, Legs Diamond Rye Whiskey (Mid-Hudson)
The Hudson Standard, Catskill Masala Bitters (Mid-Hudson)

There are a total of 291 finalists from more than 30 states.  Find a complete list of the 2017 finalists here.

Since 2010 when the awards began, the competition has grown from 700 to 2,059 entries with representation from all 50 states.  Last year, 13 New York producers were named winners in nine categoriesŚcharcuterie, chocolate, cider, coffee, honey, pantry, pickles, preserves and spirits.  The 2017 Good Food Award winners will be announced January 20 in San Francisco at a ceremony that brings together the nation’s leading chefs, buyers, food movement leaders and media. 

ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said: “Under Governor Cuomo, New York has seen unprecedented growth in our craft food and beverage industries and we are committed to promoting the State’s manufacturers who are creating jobs and supporting the sustainability of local farms.”

New York State has one of the leading agricultural sectors in the country.  It is a top 10 producer of 30 commodities.  It ranks second in the productions of apples, maple syrup, cabbage and snap beans.  It is also the third largest producer of grapes, grape juice and wine, and ranks fourth in pear and dairy production, which represents the largest segment of the State’s agricultural industry.

New York’s agricultural sector is also bolstered by Governor Cuomo’s efforts to transform the craft beverage industry, which has experienced unprecedented growth during the past six years.  Under the Governor’s leadership, the State has cut costs for producers, reformed outdated regulations, and eliminated unreasonable restrictions, allowing for increased sales, job creation, and business growth and development.  The State has also invested millions of dollars in promotional and marketing campaigns to showcase the quality of New York’s craft beverage industry to consumers both locally and internationally. 

In his State of the State address and Executive Budget, Governor Cuomo proposed to build on these efforts by launching a first-ever New York Craft Beverage Week and offering a new grant for craft beverage producers to engage in joint marketing campaigns and stipends to enter products in national and international competitions, such as the Good Food Awards.

About the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ mission is to foster a competitive food and agriculture industry that benefits producers and consumers alike. The Department, through its various divisions and programs, works to promote the agricultural industry and its world-class products, foster agricultural environmental stewardship and safeguard the State’s food supply to ensure the growth of the industry.

The Department operates the Great New York State Fair, and administers the Taste NY initiative, and the FreshConnect and new New York State Grown and Certified programs.   Follow the Department its Facebook page and on Twitter!

2017 Press Releases