MORE than 100 producers, farmers and others from the industry attended the launch of the Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2019.

Entries are now open following the event at South Lodge Hotel in Lower Beeding.

Paula Seager, director of Natural Partnerships CIC, which runs the awards as a not-for-profit scheme, said: “These are the only awards in the county created to support and boost local farmers, food and drink producers and the outlets that serve and sell their superb local fare.

“We are thrilled that our awards banquet will be taking place in May next year and hope that our new timings will boost even more entries, public votes and support.

“As we celebrate our 13th year, we are so proud to see the Sussex food and drink revolution grow stronger each year.

“We hope these awards encourage more and more people to discover and explore local markets, food shops and restaurants where they can sample the very best local produce and see for themselves why it tastes so much better.”

Entries are open until October 24 for:

Sussex Food Producer of the Year

Sussex Farmers’ Market of the Year

Sussex Butcher of the Year

Sussex Food Shop of the Year

Sussex Drink Producer of the Year

Sussex Eating Experience of the Year.

The top ten in each of these categories will be published for the public to vote for their favourites in November.

Winners will be revealed on May 15 at the Bafta-style awards ceremony hosted by Danny Pike from BBC Sussex, which includes a seven-course Sussex produce banquet at the Amex Stadium.