Questions, questions, questions…
We love questions, we ask lots and we encourage you to do the same. Information is key to making informed decisions and informed decisions make for a better experience.
We’ve collated some of your most frequently asked questions which we hope will help and if not then ask us.
What is the cost to enter?
- Micro – turnover £0-£300,000 = £105+VAT per entry
- Small – turnover £301,000- £3,000,000 = £150+VAT per entry
- Large – turnover <£3,000,001 = £185+VAT per entry
£75 + VAT per product for entry into these supplementary categories:
- Sustainability Award (a product must also be entered into a main category)
- Start Up of the Year (a product must also be entered into a main category)
- Tree Nut and Peanut Free (a product must also be entered into a main category)
Are there any extra (hidden) costs to pay after paying the entry fee?
No. The only extra costs you will need to consider are getting your samples to us for the judging sessions, and if you win a Gold medal we may ask you to supply packaging to display at shows. If you wish to add a winning logo to your packaging you will also have to cover this cost. But use of the logo itself is free (see logo guidelines below).
Why should I consider entering the Free From Awards?
- Unique – we are the only UK awards dedicated to free from food and drink, and as such we are a ‘go to’ for the free from & allergic consumer.
- Value – every entry gets its time in the spotlight with our panels of expert judges.
- Standout – our logo resonates with consumers, it helps them identify safe, quality products and outstrips other mainstream awards as a trusted certification
- Feedback – receive valuable insights on your entry, plus observations and insights on the wider category in which the product was entered.
- Communication – we support entrants across our social platforms which have a combined following of over 16K.
- Community – join other like-minded and energetic free from professionals.
- Confidence – entering our awards displays a belief in a product which increases consumer confidence and trust in your brand.
What are the criteria for entering the Free From Awards?
- Entries must be free from at least one of the top 14 UK-listed major allergens with no precautionary allergen labelling for the allergen/s specified in the free from claim*
- Entries must be commercially available nationwide by 1st May 2024, meaning sold through independent retailers, online or a multiple retailer (except the International Recognition, Easter, Speciality and Food Service categories which have individual availability criteria).
- Entries must be available to buy from a valid UK website (except for nationwide in-store only retailers).
*e.g. product cannot claim to be gluten free and have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten.
The full Terms and Conditions of entry into the Free From Awards can be found here.
By submitting an entry you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions.
I’m confused, can you explain the bit about being free from in more detail?
Of course. It can be very confusing. We follow the Food Standards Agency guidance on precautionary allergen labelling (which can be found in full here).
To qualify for entry into the Free From Awards products must be free from at least one of the top 14 UK-listed major allergens with no precautionary allergen labelling (PAL) for the allergen/s specified in the free from claim, e.g. product cannot claim to be gluten free and have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten.
Where a product makes a vegan claim, we would disqualify any product that also carries PAL for milk, egg, fish, molluscs or crustaceans.
If there is a risk of a food product being affected by allergen cross-contamination, the label should include one of the following statements:
‘may contain X’
‘not suitable for someone with X allergy’
PAL should only be used after a thorough risk assessment, if the threat of allergen cross-contamination is real and cannot be removed.
If the product does not carry any PAL, we assume that a full risk assessment has been carried out and that comprehensive allergen management protocols are in place so that even if one of the top 14 UK-listed major allergens is handled by the same factory there will be no risk to the allergic consumer.
PAL stating that the product is: ‘manufactured in a factory/kitchen which also handles/uses X allergen’ will be considered equivalent to a ‘may contain X allergen’ warning, and managed accordingly.
Any further questions? Contact us for a chat by email or on 07790869706
How do I enter the Free From Awards?
The Free From Awards can only be entered online.
I’m not sure what categories would be most suited to my product/s?
If you’re new to the awards it can be a little overwhelming.
Our categories enable us to recognise a wide selection of products covering all occasions and acknowledging the often complex needs of the free from consumer.
Each year we evolve the judging categories based on our experiences from judging sessions. You may find it helpful to view our previous years’ Winners via the dropdown menu above. And if you are still unsure then please do contact us.
Can I enter the same product in multiple categories?
Yes you can, a product is often relevant for more than one category and products can, and do, achieve success in multiple categories. You will need to complete another entry form and the entry fee will be applied for each entry.
Are there any discounts?
There is a 10% discount applied to main category entries submitted by a specified date for each cycle. We do not offer discounts for supplementary categories.
We want to showcase to the free from consumer the best our industry has to offer but we recognise it’s a challenging time for many. We don’t want cost to be a barrier so if you are struggling with the entry price we will try to assist on a case by case basis.
Do I have to pay on submission or can I request an invoice?
You will have two options at checkout, one to ‘Pay Now’ and one to request an ‘Invoice’. If you click ‘Pay Now’ you will need to pay via credit or debit card. If you click ‘Invoice’ this will complete the checkout process and you will be sent an invoice which will require payment within 30 days. Failure to make this payment will result in your product/s being removed.
Can I save entries and return to complete and make payment at a later date?
Yes but please don’t forget to click ‘Save’ or ‘Save for later’ to add what you have completed to your basket. By doing this you will be able to return to your basket and complete your entry at a later stage.
Why do you ask certain mandatory questions on the entry form?
All mandatory questions have been carefully considered to ensure judges have the best possible understanding of your entry allowing them to make a clear judgement. It’s important that all questions are answered as fully as possible. Missing out vital information such as price, weight or free from claims make it very hard to effectively judge your entry. Optional questions can provide useful information about your product to the judges as well, but you do not need to submit anything extra if you do not want to.
Can I edit or change my entries once submitted?
Yes you can. You simply need to log into your account here, where you’ll find your completed entries to your left. You are able to edit these until entry closes.
What happens if I have to forfeit any entry?
Please contact us if circumstances mean you have to forfeit your entry.
What gives the FFAs the right to judge my products?
We are the only UK award dedicated to free from food and drink. We have an unrivalled heritage and credibility in this space, with the team having worked within the industry collectively for many years and many having experienced first hand what living with food allergies and intolerances really means.
We recruit judges for specific categories and we always ensure a diverse mix which can include chefs, manufacturers, product developers, dieticians and allergy reactors.
Most categories / products are blind tasted (except where specified) by our specialist panels and judged on taste, aroma, texture, ingredients, free from claims & compliant labelling, innovation and the consumer need/occasion they are meeting.
We offer entrants a level playing field where small / large brands and supermarkets compete alongside one another for one of our coveted awards.
When will I receive my results?
All important dates will be shared on the website and by email, so please make sure our emails are landing in your inbox.
For the Main Awards (incorporating the Drink Awards, Easter Award & International Recognition) we are again hosting our famous Presentation Parties where we announce winners, and celebrate with a fabulous free from buffet; and for the Christmas Awards we inform winners in advance of a Virtual Presentation on Instagram & X.
Will I receive any feedback on my entries?
Yes. We pride ourselves on the feedback we share and this is very much front of mind at each judging session. We ask questions to take best advantage of the expert knowledge of the judges so as to provide genuinely meaningful feedback to all entrants.
There is also an opportunity on the entry form for you to ask the judges to provide insights and feedback on specific aspect of your product.
What are the rules or guidelines for using any of the logos?
FFCA/FFFA/FFDA/FFEA logos are available to companies wishing to use them for promotional purposes. There is no charge for using the FFCA/FFFA/FFDA/FFEA logo but use must be in accordance with the guidelines:
Winner, commended, finalist and entrant logos can be displayed:
- on the product that entered, is a finalist, and/or won
- on the website of the company that makes, sells or advertises the product
- You can change the size of the logo to suit your needs, but do not alter the colour or font of the logo.
- If the packaging design or format changes you can retain the logo.
- If the product recipe/formulation changes the logo must be removed.