IT IS easy to forget how lucky we are in terms of how much amazing food and drink is produced right here in Herefordshire.

There are so many passionate businesswomen and men who are working hard to provide us with top quality produce.

It is becoming increasingly important for consumers to know exactly where their food and drink is coming from.

Consumers want to know how and where the produce is grown for many different reasons including health, environmental concerns and to support the future of farming.

And thanks to the benefits of rural Herefordshire we are lucky enough to be able to source many ingredients right here on our doorstep.

Amazing fruit and vegetables are grown in abundance across the county, independent brewers - both large and small - work hard to provide us with the best brews possible, livestock is well cared for in free-range environments, and entrepreneurs are continually coming up with new ways to keep us well-fed.

As well as the producers, there are passionate restaurateurs, pub owners, cafe owners and farm shop proprietors who work hard to make the most of this food and drink every day.

The produce is not limited to one area of the county, but reaches from Bromyard to Symonds Yat and Ross-on-Wye to the Golden Valley- each place has something to offer.

Our county has a lot to celebrate from world famous beef and ciders to popular cheeses and soft fruit.

Which is why the Hereford Times Food and Drink Awards 2018 were launched. We want to celebrate every one of you who works so hard and is passionate about what you do.

We are asking every butcher, dairy producer, brewer, drinks producer, landlord, landlady, business owner and retailer to enter our awards.

The award categories are: Best Cider Producer sponsored by Royal Three Counties Show, Best Restaurant or Dining Pub, Best Brewer sponsored by NFU Mutual, Best Dairy Producer, Best Cafe or Tearoom, Best Food Producer, Best Butchers, Community Pub of the Year as sponsored by the Wobbly Brewing Company, Best Independent Food and Drink Retailer, Best Drinks Producer (not cider/beer/ale), and Best Farm Shop, as sponsored by The Duchy of Cornwall. It is easy to enter. Find out more on pages four and five of this supplement.