Bakers are being encouraged to enter the 2020 Farm Shop & Deli Awards.

The event, which is run in partnership with British Baker’s sister title The Grocer, is returning for a seventh year and supports and celebrates the UK’s independent specialist retail market.

The free-to-enter awards will feature 12 categories – including baker of the year – nine regional accolades, plus an overall retailer of the year title.

Candidates have until Friday, 20 September to submit applications, and winners will be announced at the Farm Shop & Deli Show at the NEC Birmingham on Monday 30 March 2020.

In April, Cumbria bakery business Lovingly Artisan was named baker of the year, as well as taking home the North West regional award at the 2019 event.

The Kendal-based business, founded by Aidan Monks and his wife Catherine Conor, specialises in slow-fermented traditional breads made using sourdough and natural ingredients.

Bakers & Larners of Holt also won this year’s food hall of the year category.

“We’d absolutely recommend businesses to enter because, even if you don’t win, the fact that you will be judged by your peers in the industry will help you improve your own business,” said Michael Baker, the company’s managing director.

“If you win then you are going to get an amazing uplift in trade and recognition from suppliers whom you didn’t know before, who will be beating a path to your door to bring you more exciting things for you to sell.”