Friday, August 13, 2010


Awards and rewards are intended to drive achievers to higher level of accomplishments and such incentives can do wonders to the morale of workers and entrepreneurs. In India governments at the state as well central levels and a few non-government organizations including charitable trusts and industry associations institute national and regional awards for honoring deserving candidates. In the industrial area FICCI and others in the organized sector have institutionalized awards and prizes for high performance amongst their members. Unfortunately the unorganized sector is left high and dry as no recognition comes their way due to their low visibility. A fine example of such a recognition system for artisan comes from the state of California in the US.

"Chefs, restaurateurs and winemakers all have competitions where they are recognized for their work. Now, artisan food producers are getting a contest to call their own. Starting today, nominations are being accepted for the first-ever Good Food Awards, honoring the nation's makers of high-quality chocolate, coffee, beer, cheese, charcuterie, pickles and preserves. The judging is for those producing food that is "delicious, tied to communities and cultural traditions, and is responsibly produced," says organizer Sarah Weiner, executive director of San Francisco's Seedling Project. Those criteria are spelled out in more detail in the nomination procedure on the award website,, which goes live today. Nominations can come from anyone, including the producers themselves. Awards will be given to five regional winners in each food category. Some of the country's top food authorities are helping organize and judge the event, including Ruth Reichl, former editor of Gourmet magazine, Nell Newman of Newman's Own, Paul Bertolli of Fra' Mani, Alice Medrich, award-winning cookbook author, and Alice Waters founder of Berkeley's Chez Panisse and the Edible Schoolyard. "The modern heroes aren't the chefs anymore; they're the artisans. They're the ones who are changing American food," says Reichl. The products will be judged in a daylong blind tasting in October at San Francisco's Ferry Building, with awards given out Jan. 14, also at the Ferry Building. The Good Foods Marketplace takes over the next day, with the products, and their producers, available at a public tasting".

Artisans in the food processing is very predominant in India with almost half the manufacture of processed foods coming from this much neglected sector. It is well known that even to day many Indian consumers crave for home made food products like pickles, chutneys, spice blends, curry powders, snacks, sweetmeats etc from home kitchens and cottage industry players and there are thousands of them flourishing by doing such business with sincerity and dedication. They certainly need encouragement and support which can come in the form of local, regional and national awards. Each municipality must organize annual competition for these unfortunate poor cousins of the main stream glamorous industry in the organized sector.


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