BOOM Awards Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
BOOM Awards 2021
- How do I enter the awards?
- When do entries close?
- How much does it cost to enter a category?
- Which category should I enter my product or business into?
- Is there a limit to the number of products/categories we can enter?
- Is my product or business eligible for these awards?
- Can we send in any supporting materials to accompany our entries?
- Do I need to submit an organic certificate as part of my entry?
- When and where will the judging take place?
- When and where should we deliver our products for judging?
- What sample sizes do you require for the judging of products?
- Will you confirm receipt of delivery of products at the judging venue?
- How are the awards judged and against what criteria?
- Who are the judges?
- What is the role of the Executive Judging Committee?
- Will we receive feedback from the judges on our entries?
- How many awards will be allocated per category?
- When should we expect to hear whether we have been shortlisted for an award?
- When will the winners be announced?
- What is the Nation’s Favourite Food & Drink award?
- When does the Nation’s Favourite award launch?
- How can I vote?
- Is there a cost to vote?
- What is the Organic Ambassador Award?
- If I have a query how can I get in touch?
1. How do I enter the awards?
To enter the BOOM Awards:
Please visit www.soilassociation.org/boomawards and read about the award categories and criteria, to ensure your products or business are eligible and that you are clear about the entry process. Make a note of the information you need to hand (for example product/ initiative details and organic certification if applicable).
When the new entry platform is live on 1st December you will need to register as a user. You will need to check the email sent to you to verify your account and then you can start your entry.
You can start your entry and save to finish later but all compulsory questions must be answered, and payment must be made in order to complete your entry.
2. When do entries close?
Entries close at midnight on Monday 1st March 2021.
3. How much does it cost to enter a category?
Entry is FREE for Soil Association-certified businesses with under £250k organic sales turnover. A discount code will be supplied to eligible businesses which will need to be entered into the discount code box on the entry’s payment page.
£60 for Soil Association-certified businesses with over £250k organic sales turnover (and for smaller businesses that want to make more than 2 entries).
£120 for businesses certified with another certification body.
Discounts for multiple product entries (25% discount for 4th & 5th entries, 50% discount for 6th entries and any thereafter).
4. Which category should I enter my product or business into?
Our comprehensive award category list includes Organic Food & Drink Product awards and a number of Business Awards including some specifically for Food & Drink, Farming, Beauty & Wellbeing and Fashion & Textiles.
You can browse the full category list via the link below, if there are any sub-categories these will be displayed when you click on the drop-down menu within each category.
You will need to check the eligibility criteria for each award to ensure your product/business is suitable before entering.
5. Is there a limit to the number of products/categories we can enter?
There is no limit to the number of products/categories you can enter for the awards. You are welcome to enter as many as you wish, provided you meet the eligibility criteria for the awards. There are discounts for multiple entries.
6. Is my product or business eligible for these awards?
If your product/business meets the criteria (including organic certification where required) you are eligible to enter a category. Some products/initiatives cross over categories, in which case you may wish to enter the product into more than one category, for an additional entry fee. The organisers reserve the right to move your entry into the category they feel would be most appropriate to allow the fairest judging.
7. Can we send in any supporting materials to accompany our entries?
Most of the product awards are judged by blind tasting, so no packaging or supporting material is considered. Product samples will need to be supplied for the blind-tasting and details about this are provided in the judging section below.
All categories will have questions that need to be answered in relation to the judging criteria. The only category that requires an additional attachment is:
- Best of Organic Eating Out – which requires a sample menu to be submitted.
- Organic Certificates will also need to be submitted where applicable (see Q. 7 for more information about which categories this applies to).
- This year we are also asking for 1-2 photos of your product/ business (across all categories) for marketing purposes but these will not be used for judging.
8.Do I need to submit an organic certificate as part of my entry?
For the following categories, you will need to upload your organic certificate/s to complete your entry. If you don’t have access to these are you may need to consult your quality/technical team or whoever is the named licence holder in your company to get a copy.
- All food and drink products
- Box schemes
- Independent Retailers (ONLY if you process or sell any unpackaged organic products i.e. fresh produce / dry goods refills.)
- Farms (+ and – 10ha)
- Start-Ups (If you don’t have a certificate yet please enter your Soil Association Certification reference number. Members of the start-up package (including applicants) can enter, but you must have had your licence issued before final judging in May 2021.)
- Best of Organic Fashion & Textiles Brands* (GOTS)
- Best of Organic Home Brands* (GOTs if applicable, COSMOS for cosmetics products, or SA health & beauty scheme)
- Best of Organic Beauty & Wellbeing Brands* (GOTs if applicable, COSMOS Organic for cosmetics products, or Soil Association health & beauty scheme)
*if you are selling B2B, or if you are selling B2C only and therefore aren’t certified please provide supplier certificate/s.
The following categories do not need an organic certificate to be submitted but must evidence organic business/support against the relevant questions on the entry form.
- Eating Out
- Online Retailers
- Independent Retailers (if you DON’T process or sell any unpackaged organic products i.e. fresh produce / dry goods refills)
- Marketing Campaigns
Please ensure you look at the eligibility criteria for each category and read the Terms and Conditions.
9. When and where will the judging take place?
The judging for the product categories will take place in Bristol in May. Due to various constraints, we regret that entrants may not attend judging.
The Business Awards will be judged remotely in May.
10. When and where should we deliver our products for judging?
You will receive detailed communications in the run up to judging week, with plenty of notice on how to supply your product, the exact day it should be delivered, as well as an address label.
11. What sample sizes do you require for the judging of products?
We will require 2 x samples of each product at retail-ready size with storage, serving and cooking instructions if applicable. Please see Terms and Conditions for more information and specific guidance.
12. Will you confirm receipt of delivery of products at the judging venue?
Due to resource restrictions and tight timescales onsite during judging, we are unable to confirm receipt of individual product entries. If you require confirmation of delivery, please use a tracked/signed-for courier service. We will, however, do our very best to chase up any undelivered entries.
13. How are the awards judged and against what criteria?
The product awards are blind-tasted by an independent panel of judges. They are judged on quality and taste, not their organic story.
The only exception is the Best New Organic Product Award and Best of Organic Baby & Children’s Products, which are also judged on evidence submitted via the online entry form.
The Business Awards are ‘desk-based’ awards and are judged remotely by an independent panel of judges.
See the category criteria and Terms and Conditions for more information on judging and criteria.
14. Who are the judges?
All product entries are blind tasted by an expert panel of judges including chefs, restaurateurs and food experts, alongside Soil Association Certification staff, celebrity foodies and journalists. We will promote our judges as soon as they have confirmed their attendance but will not be revealing which category any individual judge will be involved with.
15. What is the role of the Executive Judging Committee?
Judges are overseen by the Executive Judging Committee, who have the final say in judging panels, decisions and criteria, and are consulted on any issues that may arise.
16. Will we receive feedback from the judges on our entries?
For 2021 we hope to give feedback to finalists and winners but due to resource may not be able to feedback to all entrants.
17. How many awards will be allocated per category?
There will be three finalists, including one winner, selected for each subcategory. One of these subcategory winners will then be selected as the main overall category winner. Where there are no subcategories, there will be three finalists and one overall winner for the category.
18. When should we expect to hear whether we have been shortlisted for an award?
All finalists will be contacted shortly after the judging to confirm they have been shortlisted for an award, and by end May 2021 at the latest.
19. When will the winners be announced?
Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony scheduled to take place in early July and online at the BOOM Awards post-awards.
20. What is the Nation’s Favourite Food & Drink Award?
This award is to celebrate the most popular organic food and drink product nominated and voted for by the public.
21. When does the Nation’s Favourite award launch?
Voting is open to the public on Monday 8th March 2021 and closes at midnight on Monday 31st May 2021.
There are two rounds of voting:
In the first round a member of the public can nominate any organic product that is certified organic via a simple form on our website. They must specify a brand and product name. All nominations are checked for integrity and then shortlisted down to the top 10.
Voting for the Nation’s Favourite round 1 will open on 8th March 2021
Voting for the Nation’s Favourite round 1 will close on 1st May 2021
In the 2nd round the top 10 products from round 1 are promoted for further voting and the judging panel will then award the Nation’s Favourite Organic Product to the entry with the highest number of votes.
Voting for the Nation’s Favourite round 2 will open on 8th May 2021
Voting for the Nation’s Favourite round 2 will close on 31st May 2021
22. How can I vote?
All votes must be made online at BOOM Awards.
23. Is there a cost to vote?
There is no cost for voting or subsequently being entered for the award. All votes must be for a product certified as organic at the time of entry by a recognised certified body.
24. What is the Organic Ambassador Award?
Organic ambassadors are unique individuals who have dedicated their time, energy and passion to help tell the story of organic as part of the solution for taking care of ourselves and our planet. Campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use to actively engage citizens and/ or industry to influence positive change across any relevant sector (food and drink, farming, fashion & textiles and beauty & wellbeing).
Entries to this category are by nomination from Soil Association Certification and industry partners.
The public/industry will then be asked to vote from a choice of the top 10 ambassadors - each presented with a short biography and links to their social platforms and/or website.
There is no cost for being nominated or subsequently for public voting.
25. If I have a query how can I get in touch?
To speak to one of the team, please email email@example.com or phone 0117 9142440.