Food and drink firms make awards shortlist

CLAIRE RENNIE OF SUMMERHOUSE DRINKS .(DUNCAN BROWN)
CLAIRE RENNIE OF SUMMERHOUSE DRINKS .(DUNCAN BROWN)

A string of North-east companies have been nominated to win prestigious food and drink awards.

The firms are amongst 48 Scottish food and drink businesses who have been selected to feature on the shortlist as finalists for the renowned Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards.

The North-east companies who have made it onto the shortlist - or whose employees are on the shortlist - are Summerhouse Drinks; John Ross Jr; Duncan’s of Deeside Gluten Free; Mackie’s of Scotland; Entier Limited; and Wooha Brewing Company.

Recognised by both trade and consumers as an accolade of the highest quality, the shortlist is set to whet the appetite for the winners’ announcement in June.

Recognition is given across 19 entered award categories which highlight the broad spectrum of excellence, innovation and best practice across the Scottish food and drink industry.

Nine product-focused categories are judged by a thorough process, which includes the scrutiny of packaging, quality of product and taste. In their assessment of the entries, the judges sampled 165 Scottish products.

A record breaking 245 entries were received this year from small, medium and large enterprises. New for this year, the Food Pioneer award (sponsored by The Scotsman) drew an impressive 146 nominations from the public - making it unique from the other categories which are entered by companies and individuals themselves. Judged by a panel of food and drink experts, this award will honour one individual for their pioneering work in the industry.

The award winners will be announced at Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre on June 2. Dubbed the Scottish food and drink ‘Oscars’, the ceremony sold out in record time and will welcome 800 guests. Attendees will be treated to a drinks reception and delicious dinner which showcases the very best of Scotland’s larder and features the produce of previous winners and finalists.

Scotland Food and Drink Chief Executive James Withers commented: “The Excellence Awards is a flagship event in the Scottish food and drink industry’s calendar, recognising high calibre across the sector. It rewards the standout products, outstanding individuals and best practice across one of Scotland’s most successful industries.

“It is these people, products and practices which make Scotland a Land of Food and Drink.”

“This year’s awards have received a record 245 entries across retail and foodservice product and business categories from 137 food and drink companies countrywide. The shortlist recognises a wide range of businesses from artisan producers to established brands. Our expert judges remarked on the high standard of entries with the tasting panel sampling 165 products over two days. Winners will be announced at the sold out awards ceremony and dinner in June, we look forward to a stellar celebration!”

The awards are organised by Scotland Food & Drink in partnership with The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS). The title sponsor is Asda and the awards are supported by Think Local.

Willie Gill, Chairman of the RHASS said, “This shortlist reinforces what we already know, which is that Scotland’s food and drink industry is blossoming with incredible businesses and producers. The RHASS is again proud to be supporting these awards and to also represent this country’s primary food producers, whose hard work and passion is integral to the food supply chain relied on by all of the businesses in this shortlist.”