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About the Aurora International Taste Challenge charcuterie, sausage, dried and cured meat awards.

This year The Aurora International Taste Challenge 2020 will be held in South Africa, and will have some of the top food professionals judging products from around the world.  The goal is to identify and award the best-tasting products available to consumers.

The aim of the panellists is to assess the quality of products from the consumer’s point of view, in similar circumstances to those in which a consumer would enjoy the product. This event will champion meat products from around the world that are made for the discerning consumer.

This year meat products will be judged in sub categories according to the following main criteria:

  • Salami – any shape or size
  • Chorizo
  • Ham
  • Dry-cured meats (coppa, pancetta, prosciutto etc.)
  • Jerky or biltong
  • Droë wors
  • Bacon
  • Cooked/cured meat (pastrami, roast beef, corned beef etc.)
  • Cooked/smoked ready to eat sausages (Viennas, Russians, bratwurst etc.)
  • Uncooked Sausages (Boerewors, Andouille, beerwurst etc.)
  • Patés, terrines and Rillettes
  • Liverwürst
There are numerous subcategories, but entrants are welcome to create their own, so they can showcase their own unique product.
 
While many consumers are brand-loyal, most would choose an alternative if they had access to fair product ratings. The Aurora International Taste Challenge will grant merit and trophy awards to exceptional products that are readily available worldwide. We are proud to be setting new quality standards in the food and drinks industry.

Set your quality product apart from the sea of others, to show that quality, not just your marketing budget, still counts for a lot.

Why should charcuterie, sausage, dried and cured meat producers or distributors enter The Aurora International Taste Challenge?

Winners of The Aurora International Taste Challenge will enjoy bragging rights and can display their award artwork in email signatures, on the product itself as well as in digital and print media, all royalty-free.

Superior products will be granted Gold and Double Gold status, to reward excellent quality. Exceptional products that exceed expectations will be eligible for Trophy awards. Besides the normal technical criteria used during judging, a wow factor and a reading on the judge’s hedonic scale of enjoyment will be taken into account.

Winning producers will be able to display award artwork on the product itself, in digital media, and in print media for a period of one year from when the awards are granted. Winners will receive a media kit with all permutations of the artwork related to the award received, and will be able to use the artwork subject to a non-exclusive licence agreement. No royalties are charged.

Stickers for gold and double gold awards will also be available for purchase at R310 excluding VAT 1000 (approximately Euro 20 or USD 22) per 1000. A one-time print run will be done, and extra stickers will be available on a first come, first served basis. You do not have to order stickers.

Here is a close approximation of what the 25 x 25 mm sticker will look like.

Winning producers will be able to display award artwork on the product itself, in digital media, and in print media for a period of one year from when the awards are granted. Winners will receive a media kit with all permutations of the artwork related to the award received, and will be able to use the artwork subject to a non-exclusive licence agreement. No royalties are charged.

By winning an award you will ensure that your product is discovered, or rediscovered in a blind tasting, without bias or prejudice.

 

 

We are proud to be partnering with the following companies to make the 2020 Aurora International Taste Challenge a big success

 

 
 

Meat Awards information

What criteria are used to judge the products?

For ready to eat meat, the following criteria will be assessed:

  • Fragrance/aroma
  • Appearance
  • Aroma
  • Flavour
  • Texture
  • Overall

For uncooked products, the following criteria will be assessed:

Raw

  • Visual appearance
Cooked
  • Appearance
  • Aroma
  • Flavour
  • Tenderness/Juiciness
  • Overall apeal
How will uncooked products be prepared?

Bacon will be cooked on an oven tray in a pre-heated oven at 200°C (392°F) for 5 minutes.

Sausages entrants can choose between 4 different methods:

Method no.1
Sausages will be grilled on medium heat on a gas  grill, with frequent turning until the sausages are cooked through.

Method no.2
Sausages will be prepared in a pan with oil, at a medium heat, until cooked through.

Method no.3
Sausages will be poached in warm water in an oven set to 200°C, for five to eight minutes, until they are cooked through.

Method no.4
Sausages will be put into a 180°C (356°F) oven until they are cooked through.
Methods cannot be combined, and other cooking methods like sous vide are not an option.
How much product is needed for samples?

For dried and cured meats the following samples are needed:

A minimum of 3 separate containers/packets with a combined weight of 240 grams.

For all other meat samples:

A minimum of three containers comprising a minimum combined weight of 900 grams is needed.

Can I enter uncooked products?

The only uncooked products that may be entered are under the fresh sausage and bacon categories. All the products that are entered into other categories have to be ready to eat.

What equipment will be used for preperation?

The three pieces of equipment used for preparation will be:

  • A gas grill
  • An electric oven
  • A stove top
Who will be judging?

Products will be judged by food professionals with an intimate knowledge of meat.

Are there any royalties involved?

No royalties are payable.

An electronic certificate will be emailed to winning participants. This will be accompanied by a non-exclusive licence agreement that, after being signed by both parties and dependent on adherence to the stipulations of the agreement, will give the winners a non-exclusive licence to make use of the media kit, with various logos and award artwork to use on their product, in email signatures, in digital and in print media for a period of one year from the time the awards are announced. No physical trophies or awards are presented.

Can I use this award artwork for all the brands that this product is produced under?

The award artwork may only be used for the particular brand and product that was entered. If the company markets the exact same product under different brand names,  additional non-exclusive licences will be granted to be used for the additional brands the product is sold under, at the price of the original entry fee.

Stickers will also be available for purchase at R310 excluding VAT (approximately USD 22 or EUR 20) per 1000. A one-time print run will be done, and extra stickers will be available on a first come, first served basis.

Entry fees and dates
  • 17 March 2020 – Entries open and the Early Bird special is R950 excluding VAT (approximately USD76 or EUR66) per entry.
  • 2 July 2020 – Normal entry fee is R1200 excluding VAT (approximately USD96 or EUR84) after this date.
  • 21 July 2020 – Late entries can be submitted for R1440 excluding VAT (approximately USD115 or EUR101) after this date.
  • 28 July 2020 – Entries close.

What Covid-19 protocols have you implemented, and does it amend any of your current rules and guidelines?

Because of the Coronavirus scourge we have a comprehensive Coronavirus / Covid 19 contingency plan that is posted on our website here.

In case the event cannot take place, it will be postponed to a later date, and if worse comes to worse all entries will be unconditionally refunded.

With regards to the samples, our product is biltong which is dried meat – would we be allowed to deliver it in vacuum sealed packages, negating the need to arrive chilled?

Biltong does not have to be maintained in the cold chain, as long as the participant takes note that moist biltong can be susceptible to spoilage and the necessary precautions should be taken to ensure the product is delivered in the best possible condition.

When sending frozen samples,  how will the product be stored on your side to maintain cold-chain integrity?

You can send frozen samples as long as you take taking the necessary precautions to keep them frozen, and once received, the cold chain will be maintained until the judging takes place. Frozen products will be thawed to be at room temperature, or product specific appropriate temperatures as necessary.

When do I send the samples after we entered?

Samples need to be delivered on the 3rd and 4th August 2020 between 9:00 and 16:00 at The Conference Centre, Joostenberg Deli, Stellenbosch South Africa.

You can make use of any courier, but we have partnered with DHL to allow for timely delivery. When making use of DHL, please ensure you send your samples to DHL Paarl, 35 Zandwyk Park, Old Paarl Road, Paarl, South Africa, for the attention of: “The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”.

Products from outside South Africa need the necessary time to clear customs. Also add the wording: “Samples of no commercial value – for attention The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”. Contact Marijke on Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 for more details.

Products that are sent that have to maintain the cold chain, need to be packed accordingly, and the DHL overnight service can be used.

Late entries might not be accepted.

With regards to DHL and overnight delivery, how certain can I be that the sample receives the necessary urgency to deliver on time?

When making use of DHL, please ensure you send your samples to DHL Paarl, 35 Zandwyk Park, Old Paarl Road, Paarl, South Africa, for the attention of: “The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”. Make sure you arrange with Marijke on Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 to make sure everything will be in order. 

Does taxes and custom fees only relate to imports?

Only samples send from outside of South Africa will accrue taxes, clearance and customs fees.

As you have partnered with DHL, do entrants get a reduced-price option?

Because DHL consolidates deliveries, the prices will be reduced. Make sure you arrange with Marijke on Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 to get the necessary detail.

Overnight deliveries and deliveries from outside of South Africa will be at normal DHL rates.

Will you have a show for people / companies to attend if they are not entering the competition?

The Aurora International Taste Challenge is not a trade show or public event. Only the organisers and judges are present.

There is also no prize giving ceremony or trade/public tasting afterwards.

How do I enter and where do I get an entry form?

You can register online here and after registration enter online. Once you are registered, you can just go to this link here to enter products later.

At what stage do I pay for entries?

Payment must be done online before the close of entries.

General definitions

Salami

  • Any shape is acceptable. Please specify type or special information.

Chorizo

  • Pork sausage that is ready to be eaten. Can be smoked and can contain peppers.

Ham

  • Should be derived from front or hind leg of a pig. Can also be Canadian styled. Must be ready to eat.

Dried / cured meats

  • Can be dried or cured. Must be primal cut. Cooked and cured meats are products that had been cured using nitrite and/or a combination of nitrite and nitrate. They are then cooked to a core temperature of 72° C/162 °F.

Jerky / biltong

  • Meat that has been dried, spiced and salted. Can be smoked or unsmoked. Can be from a wide variety of species. Must not be manufactured or reformed.

Bacon

  • Only meat derived from belly and sides of pig, that has been cured. Will be cooked on site.

Cooked meats

  • Can be oven cooked or water cooked. No processed/manufactured or reformed products allowed.

Cooked sausages

  • Must be ready to eat. Can be smoked or unsmoked. Can be from wide variety of species.

Uncooked sausages

  • Can be smoked or unsmoked. Can be from wide variety of species. Products are minced or comminuted. May not be partially cooked.

Terrines

  • Made from coarsely chopped ingredients, and the end result is normally sliceable.

Patés

  • Paste or loaf of ground meat from various species that contains liver.

Rillettes

  • Meat slow cooked in fat. Most commonly made from pork, but other species can also be represented. Can be spread.

Liverwürst

  • Liver spread that can be either course or fine.

Species sausage

  • Means sausage manufactured predominantly from the meat of a specific species of animal or bird and that is sold under a name in which the name of the species referred to and the word “sausage” appear, either by themselves or in combination with any other word or expression.

Boerewors raw definition:

Any sausage sold under a name in which the word “boerewors” appears either by itself or in combination with any other word or expression.

Compositional Requirements:

  • Raw boerewors shall be manufactured from the meat of an animal of the bovine, ovine, porcine or caprine species or from a mixture of two or more thereof, shall be contained in an edible casing, and –
  • shall contain a minimum of 90 percent total meat content and not more than 30 percent fat content;
  • shall contain no offal except where such offal is to be used solely as the casing of the raw boerewors;
  • shall contain no mechanically recovered meat; may contain a maximum of 0,02 grams of calcium per 100 gram of the product mass.

In or in connection with the manufacture of raw boerewors, no ingredients shall be added except –

  • cereal products or starch;
  • vinegar, spices, herbs, salt or other harmless flavourants;
  • permitted food additives;
  • water

Dahnia sausage

  • Sausage containing Dhania/Coriander.

Flexatarian sausage:

  • Sausage that contain at least 30% vegetables.
Gourmet sausage
  • Donates a sausage made from special ingredients that defy normal classification.

By winning an award you will ensure that your product is discovered, or rediscovered in a blind tasting, without bias or prejudice.

Use of award artwork illustrated with mock-up examples

Awarded participants can use the award artwork in the supplied media kit, in various ways to enhance the image of their superior products.

Please consult the guide to award artwork here.

Timeline for the 2020 competition

17 March 2020
Competition opens


Early Bird special entry fee is
R950 excluding VAT (approximately USD76 or EUR66)

Normal Entry Fee applies
2 July 2020


Normal entry fee is
R1200 excluding VAT
(approximately USD96 or EUR84)

21 July 2020
Late entry fee

Late fee is R1440 excluding VAT
(approximately USD115 or EUR101)

28 July 2020
Entries close

3rd and 4th of August 2020
Delivery of samples

11th August 2020
Results released

Contacts and delivery of samples

A minimum of three containers comprising a minimum combined weight of 900 grams is needed. All entries have to arrive chilled, having been maintained in the cold chain from the producer to delivery point, and must be in suitable and hygienic packaging. All samples must have a “best before”, or “use by” date. Products that do not contain this information on the packaging will be disqualified.

Participants may use any courier, but please ensure samples are delivered between 9:00 and 16:00 on August 3rd and 4th, 2020 to: the Conference Centre, at Joostenberg Deli, Koelenhof Road, Stellenbosch, South Africa for the attention of Celia Gilloway. Late entries might not be accepted.

You can contact Celia on: Tel: +27 82 782 1977/ Email: celia@eventsbycelia.com

We have partnered with DHL to allow for timely delivery. When making use of DHL, please ensure that you ask them about overnight delivery and appropriate packaging to ensure the cold chain is not broken. You can contact Marijke on Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com  or phone her on +27 21 872 4717.

Products from outside South Africa need the necessary time to clear customs. Also add the wording: “Samples of no commercial value – for attention The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”. Contact Marijke on Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 for more details.

Products that are sent that have to maintain the cold chain, need to be packed accordingly, and the DHL overnight service can be used.

Late entries might not be accepted.

For additional information contact Sanet van Heerden at hello@aurorachallenge.com

Rules particular to meat

  • All samples to be clearly labelled to identify the entries.
  • All entries have to arrive chilled, having maintained in the cold chain from the producer to the delivery point, and must be in suitable and hygienic packaging.
  • Except for the categories “uncooked sausages” and “bacon”, entries may not be raw and must be ready to eat.
  • Casings may not contain product identification or branding, but must be in a labelled container to be able to identify the product.
  • Fresh uncooked sausage entries must not contain any garnish, and have to include an absorbent pad on the bottom.
  • The same product, even if under a different brand or name, may not be entered twice.
  • No marinated meats are allowed to be entered.
  • All meat products must have a “best before”, or “use by” date. Products that do not contain this information on the packaging will be disqualified.
  • Wherever possible vacuum sealing of samples is preferred.
  • Any products left over after judging become the property of the competition.
  • There are no classes for burgers, pies, frikkadels, faggots, haggis, sosaties, kebabs, skilpadjies, meatballs or any raw cut of meat.
  • All costs related to delivery, including customs fees and taxes etc. are at the participant’s expense.
  • Only commercially operated importers, roasters, producers or distributors that abide by the food laws of the country of origin may enter.
  • Winners will be asked to supply the competition with high resolution packshots for use on its website, and in marketing materials. By entering this competition the participant grants The Aurora International Taste Challenge unlimited use of these images.
  • Be sure to securely wrap entries with bubble wrap or similar material to secure your entries against breakage. Please wrap your final package in a plastic bag and make it leakproof  in order to prevent leakage and damage to other products. Label samples as fragile.
  • Specialised packaging material or any other packaging material will not be returned. Specialised packaging material can significantly preserve the final quality and viability of the sample being judged.
  • If styrofoam peanuts are used for packaging, please secure them in a container that will not cause leakage or spillage of the packaging materials.
  • International entries must take the necessary precautions to prevent breakage and hold-ups in customs, and are encouraged to use local agents to deliver samples.
  • If more than one box of samples are delivered, please mark the boxes as “Box 1 of 5”, “Box 2 of 5” etc.
  • After winners are announced, no additional samples are needed.
  • Leftover samples will become the property of the event.