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all across the country, a new crop of food producers are reviving the traditional crafts of preserving, brewing, roasting and distilling...

From the organizers of the Good Food Awards comes the Good Food Merchants Guild, which will foster, distinguish and unite them to become a vibrant economic force in America. Join Now »

Beer
Charcuterie
Cheese
Chocolate
Cider
Coffee
Confections
Fish
Honey
Oils
Pantry
Pickles
Preserves
Spirits

Founder's Circle

Membership Details

Which option is right for me?

I'm Small

{and that suits me just fine}
  • A national community of like-minded businesses
  • How-to videos and templates on business basics

I'm Growing

{fast!}
  • A bridge to regional and national buyers
  • A way to distinguish products on shelves
  • Professional resources and tools.
  • Discount on job postings at GoodFoodJobs.com
    to find great new staff.

I'm Big

{and making great FOOD!}
  • Be recognized as a leader
  • Help the Good Food movement grow.
  • Become even more sustainable
  • Special access to national and regional buyers (starting 2013).
Plus stickers, poster, schwag...and much more as we grow!

Structure

Membership in the Good Food Guild is open to both retailers and craft food and beverage businesses, in the nine industries that the Good Food Awards works with and beyond to include all traditional American craft food traditions, from butter to cookies to crackers, mead, cider and more. If your industry is not listed on the sign up form, choose “Other Craft Food” and tell us about what you do. Membership will be based on meeting the standards developed by the Good Food Awards Committees, a diverse group of leaders from each industry. Each set of standards reflects the best practices of
tasty, authentic and responsible food producers
as it relates to the specific industry,

while not being so stringent as to preclude all but a few dozen businesses. The Guild is committed to adding additional stake holders to support a revision of the criteria every year to reflect changes in our rapidly changing food system, and to using its marketing power to support advancement in sustainability and social responsibility. A copy of the current standards are below.

Hey, you should sign up!

Standards

Beer

• Made in the USA.
• Certified organic, or meet at least four of the following eligibility criteria:
• Made with at least one ingredient (besides water) sourced within 150 miles.
• Made with at least one ingredient (besides water) that is grown without the use of synthetic inputs, including pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers.
• Made by a brewery that has made concrete water recycling or other resource efficiency improvements in the production or delivery process in the last three years.
• Made by a brewery that engages deeply with its community by participating in a sustainably-minded guild; offering paid time off for employees to volunteer for causes they believe in; or otherwise offers substantial support to its community.
• Made by a brewery that engages in consumer packaging and waste reduction, via growler programs, bottle recycling or other container-related sustainability measures.
• Made by a brewery that proudly maintains one or more third-party accreditations embodying social responsibility and transparency.*

Charcuterie

• Made in the USA.
• Handcrafted.
• Free of artificial additives.*
• Free of genetically modified ingredients.
• If made with additional animal products (dairy, eggs), they adhere to the same animal treatment standards as meat ingredients.
• If made with non-animal ingredients, they are sustainably sourced wherever possible, traceable, free of GMOs and grown without synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.**
• Made with respect and fair compensation for everyone working at the ranch, in the slaughterhouse and in the kitchen.

Made with meat from animals raised:
• Using good animal husbandry.***
• Out of confinement that restricts natural species-specific behaviors.
• With plenty of access to the outdoors.
• Without gestation crates.
• Without hormones.
• Without sub-therapeutic antibiotics.
• Without feed containing animal by-products.
• Butchered in a state, county or USDA-approved facility.

Cheese

Made by the entrant’s own company, with milk from animals raised using good animal husbandry* with access to the outdoors.
Made without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or fertilizers on the pastures.
Made without hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics.
Made with rBGH-free milk.
Made with sustainable repurposing of whey, where it is a byproduct of production.
• Made with milk from animals fed local, GM-free feed where available. Where it is not, the crafter is invested in being an agent of change towards greater availability, by working with suppliers and local granges, vocalizing their interest in this type of local feed if and when it becomes available.**
Made with other ingredients, such as rennet, starter cultures, yogurt additions, herbs and washes, produced in the same spirit without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers or genetically modified ingredients.
Made in the USA.

Chocolate

Made by the entrant from bean to bar in the USA.
Free of artificial and synthetic colors, flavors, preservatives and other ingredients.
Free of genetically modified ingredients.
• Adherent to the FDA standards of identity for chocolate.
• Available for retail sale in the 2016 calendar year, prior to September.

Cacao must be sourced in compliance with the following standards:

• The origin of beans must be traceable, ordinarily to a particular growing region of a country and ideally to a processing facility, farm or cooperative.
• Bean sourcers must ensure that price premiums meet or exceed Fair Trade minimums relative to the world commodity price, either through direct trade or through publicly stated policies and in-place processes.
• Sourced with price transparency throughout the supply chain.
• Farm-gate priced at or above Fair Trade minimums.
Wherever possible, sourced from farms or cooperatives where transparent, documented practices ensure fair and humane work standards for all laborers.
• Wherever possible, sourced from farms or cooperatives with a transparent, documented emphasis on sustainable farming practices including: water conservation and minimizing or eliminating the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.

Other ingredients (sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin, vanilla, milk powder, flavorings, inclusions, etc.) must be sourced in compliance with the following standards:

• Grown with minimal or no use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, and traceable.
 Wherever possible, sourced from farms or cooperatives where transparent, documented practices ensure fair and humane work standards for all laborers.
• Wherever possible, all dairy and other animal-derived products should be sourced in compliance with the Animal Welfare Approved guidelines that define “good animal husbandry.”

Cider

Seeks out ingredients that are grown or produced with practices that promote resource conservation and minimize synthetic inputs, including pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
Seeks out fruit and other ingredients that are grown locally and with respect to seasonality as a top priority.
Does not use artificial flavorings.
Does not use fruit juice concentrates as a primary source of fermentable sugar (may not exceed 25%).
 Demonstrates a commitment to relationships with suppliers and customers in order to support and promote sustainability.

Additionally, cider entries must fit within one of the following subcategories:

• Unadulterated Cider: Ciders made to showcase everything the apple can do when fermented, without the addition of prominent flavoring agents. Chaptalized ciders can be included here, but those made with sugars that have a significant impact on flavor should be entered into the Spiced & Hopped category.
• Unadulterated Perry: Perries made to showcase everything the pear can do when fermented, without the addition of prominent flavoring agents. Apple-based ciders with added pear should be entered into the Fruited category.
• Wood-Aged: Ciders and perries aged or fermented in barrels or on wood to take on significant barrel/wood character or the flavor of the barrel’s previous contents as a key flavor component. Please specify the barrel/wood type with your submission.
• Fruited: Ciders and perries made with added non-apple/pear fruits. Apple-based ciders with added pear and pear-based drinks with added apples should also be entered here.
• Spiced, Hopped & Other Flavored: Ciders and perries made with spices, hops, herbs, or sugars with significant flavor contributions (such as maple syrup or honey).
• Fortified & Ice Ciders: Ciders and perries fortified with spirits, pommeaus, and ice ciders.

All ciders must be made in the USA.

Coffee

• Traceable back to the producer (or producers) at the farm (or cooperative) level.
• Sourced in such a way that there is price transparency throughout the supply chain, that farm-gate prices meet or exceed Fair Trade minimums, and that the rights of farm workers are respected.
• Sourced from a farm where there is an emphasis on pursuing sustainable agricultural practices, including water conservation and minimizing or eliminating the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.

Confections

Free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.
Free of genetically modified ingredients.
Free of high fructose corn syrup.
If made with chocolate, it must be premium couverture and may not be made with substitute fats as alternatives to cocoa butter.  Additionally this chocolate cannot be made with GM sugar, GM lecithin or alternatives to real vanilla (ie flavoring).
If made with dairy and other animal-derived ingredients, these are locally sourced and/or certified organic; free range; hormone-free; and from animals raised using good animal husbandry.*
If made with inclusions and flavorings that are grown domestically, they are locally sourced wherever possible; traceable; and grown without synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.**
If made with inclusions and flavorings that are not grown domestically on a commercial scale, they are farm-direct, certified organic or Fair Trade certified.
• Made in the USA.

Fish

Caught or farmed in US waters.

Processed & handcrafted in the US.

Free of artificial additives and flavor enhancers.

All ingredients, animal or otherwise, must be sustainably sourced wherever possible, traceable, free of GMOs and grown without synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.

Caught or farmed with respect and fair compensation for everyone working on the vessel, farm and in the kitchen.

Made with fish or shellfish from well-managed, environmentally responsible fisheries and farms. Farmed finfish must be from land-based facilities, and fed a vegetarian and non-GMO diet.

All wild caught or farmed fish must be rated “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch.*

• Swordfish must be caught in US waters using harpoons, handlines or deep-set buoy gear only.

Honey

Be the bona fide product of the entrant’s own bees.
• Harvested between August 2015 and August 2016.
• Extracted with minimal heat (100°) and, after extraction, not exposed to heat greater than 120°.
Strained and/or filtered to leave in pollen.
 Produced in the USA.
If made with inclusions (such as fruit and herbs):
  That grow domestically, inclusions are locally sourced wherever possible; traceable; and grown without synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.
 That are not grown domestically on a commercial scale, they are farm-direct, certified organic or Fair Trade certified.

By beekeepers who owned and/or managed the bees locally and extracted the honey, and:

 Practice good animal husbandry, including:
 Not locating hives within a five-mile radius of crops that receive heavy usage of agrochemicals.
• Not regularly relocating the hives major distances for pollination services.
 Management of hives using minimal chemical interventions (miteicides, antibiotics, etc.), and following prescribed application guidelines.
• Feeding balanced nutrition when needed, with no high fructose corn syrup.
Practice social responsibility, including:
• Engaging the community in education.
• If staff is employed in tending the hives and harvesting the honey, they are treated respectfully and given fair compensation.

Oils

Be made with olives, avocados, nuts or seeds.
 Be pressed from ingredients from the most recent harvest and grown in the region of entry.
Contain no GM ingredients.
Contain no artificial additives.
 Use ingredients grown using fair labor practices.
 Use ingredients grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides.*
Oil comes from a first pressing and is not subjected to added heat or chemical extractors throughout the entire process.
 The entry is not a third party private label oil, where finished oil from another source has been purchased and rebranded.
 Be made in the USA.

Additional criteria for olive oil entries:
Growers must demonstrate an effort to use sustainable practices in water conservation and waste management.
Non-flavored olive oils are certified as extra virgin by a COOC- or IOC-recognized panel.**

Additional criteria for flavored oil entries:
Base oil must meet all above criteria except the extra virgin certification requirement for olive oils.
Added flavor ingredients, including but not limited to spices, herbs and fruit, must be domestically sourced and meet the above criteria related to sustainable growing techniques and fair labor practices.
Flavor must come from either infusing the actual flavor ingredient in the oil or pressing it with the oil and not by adding a flavoring extract or oil.

Additionally, oil entries must fit within one of the following subcategories:
• Olive Oil
• Nut Oil
• Seed Oil
• Avocado Oil
• Flavored Oil

Pantry

With a balanced objective of local, organic and highest-quality.*
With transparency in supply chain.**
Without high fructose corn syrup or any artificial ingredients, preservatives or colors, including artificial smoke flavoring.
Without genetically modified organisms (including GM beet sugar and vinegar derived from GM corn).
With spices that are certified organic, fair trade or traceable to the farm level.

The final product must also be made:

• In the USA.
With rBGH-free milk, where milk is used.
And with domestic, non-petroleum based vinegar where vinegar is used.

Additionally, pantry entries must fit within one of the following subcategories:

Pantry Sauces & Pastes (e.g., miso, sambal, curry paste, hot sauce, BBQ sauce)
Salsas, Relishes & Savory Chutneys (e.g., onion chutney, tomatillo salsa)
Condiments (e.g., mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard)
Flavor Bases (e.g., fish sauce, soy sauce)
 Maple Syrups
Nut Butters
Vinegars

Pickles

• Locally.*
• With respect for seasonality.*
• Without synthetic inputs including herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and fertilizer.
• Without genetically modified organisms (including GM beet sugar and vinegar derived from GM corn).

The final product must also be:

• Made without any artificial ingredients.
• Made with domestic, non-petroleum based vinegar, where vinegar is used.
• And unpasteurized, if the product is kombucha.

Additionally, pickles entries must fit within one of the following subcategories:
• Vinegar
• Lacto-Fermented
• Kombucha

Preserves

Ingredients are foraged or grown locally.*
With respect for seasonality.
Without synthetic inputs including herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and fertilizer.*
Without any artificial ingredients.
Without genetically modified organisms (including GM beet sugar and GM pectin).

Spirits

Utilize ingredients that are grown and sourced responsibly, with awareness of origin, seasonality, trade and labor practices.
If the primary ingredient is a fruit, it is grown entirely without the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and synthetic fertilizers, and where a grain is the primary ingredient there is a strong effort made to use ingredients free of these inputs wherever possible.
Do not contain any artificial additives.
Distilled without the use of genetically modified ingredients, including the use of GM corn to produce grain neutral spirits.
• Made in the USA.

Additionally, spirits entries must fit within one of the following subcategories:

• Whiskey
• Gin
• Vodka
• Agave-Based
• Sugarcane-Based
• Fruit-Based Distillates
• Liqueurs
• Modifiers (e.g., shrubs, syrups*, mixers)