As prep for the Great Cornish Food Festival gets into full-on food-loving swing, its organisers are also busy arranging another hotly-anticipated event – the popular Choose Cornish Awards – and have just released the names of the finalists.

Initiated by Cornwall Food & Drink and Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, the Choose Cornish campaign was created in 2012 to blow the trumpet for the local heroes in the world of Cornish business. Judged by an esteemed panel that includes top national journalists and business experts, the Choose Cornish Awards celebrate the businesses that do the most to promote the ethos of the campaign.

“On one level, the idea of Choose Cornish was to spread the message for people to ‘buy local’ in their everyday shopping and eating out - a move that could generate literally millions of pounds for the county’s economy,” says Ruth Huxley, director of Cornwall Food & Drink. “But, along with Cornwall Chamber, we wanted to emphasise that there is a big role for  local businesses to play too, by working together and making sure that there are plenty of opportunities for us all to buy local products and use local suppliers."

Thanks to the generosity of a range of sponsors, this year’s awards include two completely new categories and, according to Cornwall Food & Drink, attracted a record number of entries from a diverse range of businesses.  The shortlisting job was therefore doubly difficult, but resulted in some outstanding entrants being selected to undergo the final round of judging.

The Real Cornish Breakfast Award, sponsored by Visit Cornwall, champions those who make the most of Cornish ingredients while also ensuring quality, choice and service for their breakfast experience. The shortlisted businesses are: St Michael’s B&B in Marazion, The Scarlet in Mawgan Porth, and Woodlands Country House B&B near Padstow.

The Best Cornish Business Collaboration Award, sponsored by Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, is a chance for businesses to demonstrate how their collaborative approach has made a difference to the local economy.  The shortlisted candidates are: Ginsters, Polgoon Vineyard & Orchard, and Westcountry Fruit Sales.

The Truly Cornish Café Trail Award, sponsored by Cornwall Food & Drink, goes to a café that prides itself not just on locally sourced, quality ingredients, but on great food and impeccable service too. The shortlisted cafés are: Boscastle Farm Shop, Picnic Cornwall in Falmouth, and Trevathan Farm Shop & Restaurant near Port Isaac.

The Truly Cornish Clotted Cream Tea Award, sponsored by Trewithen Dairy is brand new this year and recognises those who ensure that their version of this quintessentially Cornish treat is freshly-prepared, beautifully-presented and locally-sourced. Shortlisted for this award are: Heligan Tearoom & Bakery, The Waymarker in Constantine, and Trevallicks Farm Shop & Tea Room near Pensilva.

The Choose Cornish Everyday Award, sponsored by Cornish Mutual, is given to the retailer that supports local suppliers and persuades its customers to do the same in their day-to-day shopping. The shortlisted businesses are: Cornish Food Box Company, Cornishfoodmarket.co.uk, and Picnic Cornwall.

The Public Sector Award, sponsored by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, is the other new award for this year, and extends the campaign into the public sector, to recognise those who make the greatest efforts to use local suppliers in their procurement process. Shortlisted organisations are: Cornwall Food Production Unit, Chartwells, and Penair School.

Last but certainly not least, the Champion of Champions Award, sponsored by First Great Western, will be presented to one of the winners of the above categories, who will be judged to be embracing the ethos of Choose Cornish in everything they do. The Choose Cornish Awards ceremony will be held at Nancarrow Farm on September 22th, marking the start of a big week for Cornish food and drink, culminating in the Great Cornish Food Festival on Truro’s Lemon Quay from 26th to 28th September. For more information on the Choose Cornish campaign, visit www.choosecornish.co.uk