As the closing date for entries approaches (Monday 30 January), the North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards urge businesses to sign up to the region’s most prestigious awards that celebrate excellence and innovation in the industry.
Delivered in partnership by Opportunity North East (ONE) and Aberdeenshire Council, the awards are free to enter, and are open to all food and drink producers based in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray.
The eleven award categories encompass all parts of the food and drink industry; from North East Scotland Food & Drink Entrepreneur, to Best New Retail Product, to Best Young Business. A new Innovation Award has also been launched this year, to further support and encourage businesses that are pioneers in their field.
Sarah Robertson, HR Manager at Joseph Robertson, said: “It was an honour to be recognised at the Awards in 2016 for the time taken and investments we have made in regards to employee development.
“We are great believers that motivating our employees is crucial for continuous improvement. Winning the award for Investing in Skills Development has definitely given us the motivation and drive to uphold and progress our future employee development standards.
“We would encourage other businesses to enter this year and become an inspiration for others, it is a great opportunity to showcase what you are capable of.”
Peter Cook, Director of Food, Drink & Agriculture at ONE, said: “Awards like these are extremely effective for exposing businesses to new markets, building reputations and driving sales. We are lucky to have so many great food and drink producers in Scotland, but for that reason competition in the market is strong, so I’d urge businesses to enter these awards, as they offer an invaluable platform from which to showcase their products to the nation.
“This year, we have added a new category, Best Food Tourism Experience, which reflects the growing role that food and drink can play in enhancing the attractiveness of a destination and increasing visitor numbers. Having previously being famed for its quality food and drink, Scotland is now rapidly turning into a highly regarded food destination,” said Mr Cook.
As well as offering businesses a platform on which they can showcase their produceto the nation, it gives entrants the opportunity to meet with the judging panel, who are highly regarded within their fields of business, marketing and journalism. This year, the judges include:
- Angus Bell, Category Manager for Scotland for Morrisons, with over 26 years experience in buying, marketing and store management within food retail.
- Katie Sillars, Business Development Manager Scotland at Bidvest Food Service Scotland and former Director of Eat Balanced for four years.
- Cate Devine, Food Writer and Columnist, writing about the Scottish food scene for 25 years.
The Awards have received sponsorship from a range of businesses, including ESS Support Services Worldwide, Aston Scott, Johnston Carmichael, Mackie’s of Scotland, Maclay, Murray and Spens LLP, Highlands & Islands Enterpise (HIE), Scotland Food & Drink, Skills Development Scotland and Strachans Ltd.
Winners will be announced at an awards dinner, which will take place on Thursday 30 March 2017 at the Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel and Spa.
For more information and to enter the awards visit www.nesfoodanddrinkawards.co.uk