Frequently Asked Questions

1 Why is there a $50 application fee?

We want to give each application a good amount of focus and attention, calling suppliers listed when necessary to see if we have any questions and consulting with experts if we are not sure if your practices meet the guidelines. The $50 fee covers this administrative time.

2 The food I make doesn’t fit one of your fifteen categories. Can I still be part of the Guild?

Yes. We look forward to counting granola bakers, ice cream makers and cracker crafters amongst the Good Food Merchants Guild membership, which is open to all craft food producers. Click the “other” box in the application to see the eligibility criteria, and if you meet the criteria, we welcome your application.

3 Is it open to farmers?

We love farmers. The Good Food Merchants Guild is focused on connecting, convening and promoting value-added food producers. Some of them are farmers, such as farmstead cheese producers, cideries and distillers using their own orchard fruit, and homestead picklers and preservers. However, since there are already many great organizations uniting family farmers which share sustainability values, we are focused on bringing together the craft food producers. In the end, if they thrive, so will all the farmers from whom they buy in bulk.

4 Why did you create the Good Food Merchants Guild?

Specialty food is a 120 billion dollar industry. A tiny portion of that industry is producing food with the values of taste, authenticity and responsibility in mind, using their businesses to create good Green Collar jobs, enhance rather than deplete the environment, and build a healthier community. The Good Food Merchants Guild exists to help that less than 10% industry segment who is, to foster, distinguish and unite Good Food producers to become a vibrant economic force in America.

5 Why do you ask so many questions on the entry form?

Our goal is to create a community of businesses that are all passionate about the food they craft and the community that helps them do it, from farmers to the grocers they work with. The questions are designed to let us really understand what you are doing, and ensure each member meets the holistic eligibility criteria.

6 How long does the screening process take?

You will be notified by email with your status within four weeks.

7 Do I get a refund if I am not accepted into the Guild?

Yes, of all but the $50 application fee.

8 When I renew my membership next year, will I have to answer all those questions again?

No, you will just need to tell us if anything has changed in terms of your production processes and supply chain.

9 I am in the Small category and paying that tier price, but want access to one of the benefits listed in the Growing or Big category. Can I have it?

Yes, all benefits are available to all members, regardless of what entry price you pay. They are listed as is, because we believe they are most valuable to that size of company.

10 Are you going to add new categories to the Good Food Awards?

Yes, we add new categories each year. As a Guild member, feel free to let us know what you think they should be.

11 What concrete benefits do you offer members?

A handsome newsprint poster to hang in a shop window or office.
Opportunity to show at our Good Food Mercantile – the un-trade show for tasty, authentic, responsible food – in San Francisco, New York City and at our annual Traveling Mercantile.
One free entry into the Good Food Awards in July for those that fit into one of the 14 categories ($70 value).
20% off VerTerra wholesale web pricing using code “goodfood.”
One free posting on Good Food Jobs ($60 value) and 50% off additional postings.
A free profile on Localize, a platform to help retailers in your area find your Good Food.
10% discount on the first month of a Forage Kitchen Membership Package.
Free 30-minute design consultation with GardenHaus, a packaging design firm specializing in growing food businesses.
Listing on the Good Food Merchants Guild directory (used by our retail partners to discover and source the best of what is tasty, authentic and responsible).
Use of the Good Food Merchants Guild membership logo on your website.
15% scholarship for enrollment in The Presidio Graduate School.
10% tuition discount on courses at The Food Craft Institute‘s Quarterly Business Module curriculum.
10% discount on Barnraiser fees for one project each year.
Two passes to the Industry Hour at the Good Food Mercantile in NYC and SF ($100 value).
Our community to share your news.

12 Do you plan to offer more benefits in the future?

Yes. We're are continually working to add new benefits. For example, some recently added benefits include discounts on Verterra products and a profile on Localize.

13 What is the Founders Circle?

The Founders Circle is a group of innovating businesses that supported the initial launch of the Good Food Merchants Guild, and offer special services and ongoing support to its members.

14 How did you come up with the entry criteria?

We believe Good Food is made with real ingredients, local wherever possible, and respect amongst the people whose work goes into creating it. The criteria for each category was developed originally for the Good Food Awards, by a diverse committee of leaders in the field who are pushing the envelope towards greater craftsmanship, as well as social and environmental sustainability. They, like us, believe that Good Food is made with good animal husbandry and without the use of artificial ingredients, hormones, synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer or genetically modified ingredients. The Good Food Merchants Guild eligibility criteria reflect these beliefs, yet also acknowledge that each industry is at a different point in the journey towards “perfect” sustainability, both environmental and social.

The committees who developed the criteria can be found on the Good Food Awards website category pages. We revise the criteria every year to reflect new developments in each Good Food industry.