The organisers of the North East Scotland Food and Drink Awards appreciate that this is a very challenging time for the food and drink industry. The country is dealing with extraordinary health, economic and financial challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite these difficult times, Aberdeenshire Council and Opportunity North East are keen that we take a moment to celebrate and support the businesses in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray who entered the 2020 Awards.
Whilst currently businesses have urgent and pressing operational challenges to address, the Awards wanted to recognise those businesses that are working so very hard to keep the food supply chain running and therefore virtually connected the food and drink community for the awards announcement, which was revealed online this afternoon (Tuesday 31 March 2020).
The 2020 North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards included 13 different categories spanning the breadth of the industry. Internationalisation, innovation and capitalising on links between the food, drink and tourism industry are recognised drivers for long-term sector growth and this was reflected across the broad range of entries received this year. We also recognised producers who are demonstrating leadership in the sector in response to the climate emergency, through the new Sustainability category.
The winners of the 2020 awards are: Brew Toon, Donald Russell Ltd, Farmlay Eggs, Forest Farm – The Organic Dairy, International Fish Canners (Scotland) Ltd, Lost Loch Spirits Ltd, Mackie’s of Scotland, rora dairy, Sutherlands of Portsoy, The Teasmith Spirit Company Ltd and WooHa Brewing Company.
2020 Award Winners by Category
MOST SUCCESSFUL PRODUCT
Brew Toon – M’ango Unchained (Mango IPA)
BEST RETAIL PRODUCT (small businesses)
Forest Farm – The Organic Dairy – Handcrafted Artisan Gelato & Sorbet
BEST RETAIL PRODUCT (large businesses)
International Fish Canners (Scotland) Ltd – Sainsbury Taste the Difference Hot Smoked Mackerel
BEST BREWED PRODUCT
WooHa Brewing Company – Speakeasy Champagne Beer
BEST DISTILLED PRODUCT
The Teasmith Spirit Company Ltd – Broich Single Estate Gin
BEST FOODSERVICE PRODUCT
Sutherlands of Portsoy – Traditional Smoked Salmon cured with Glenglassaugh Torfa Whisky
BEST YOUNG BUSINESS
FOOD & DRINK BUSINESS GROWTH AWARD
Mackie’s of Scotland
BEST FOOD & DRINK TOURISM EXPERIENCE
Lost Loch Spirits Ltd – Lost Loch Spirits School
INVESTING IN SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
Donald Russell Ltd
Farmlay Eggs – Automated Tray Hygiene System
EXPORT BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Mackie’s of Scotland
THE SUSTAINABILITY AWARD
Forest Farm – The Organic Dairy – Soil to Sale Sustainability
Two local companies were celebrating double wins categories of The Sustainability Award and Best Retail Product – small for Forest Farm – The Organic Dairy and Food & Drink Business Growth Award and Export Business of the Year for Mackie’s of Scotland.
Forest Farm is an award-winning, family-owned organic dairy. The certified organic farm is also home to Scotland’s first milk vending machines, established to provide the local community with the opportunity to buy milk from the cows they see grazing on their doorstep. They strive to be truly sustainable by using no pesticides or fertilisers, managing field rotations, creating wildlife habitats and by practising animal husbandry of the highest welfare standards. They won the Best Retail Product – small for their handmade gelato range.
Mackie’s of Scotland has a strong track record in the Awards, winning an award almost every year since their inception. They are successfully developing their brand globally with increasing sales of ice cream, chocolate & crisps in over 20 countries. In 2019 Mackie’s of Scotland export sales increased by 78% with over 2 million tubs of ice cream shipped to Asia from the Aberdeenshire home farm and successful development of new chocolate sales and entry to some new export markets like Hong Kong, mainland China and the USA.
The judging panel for this year’s awards included Ronnie Kelman, Business Director, ESS Support Services Worldwide, Kevin Shand, Regional Account Manager, Braehead Foods Ltd, James Taylor, Buying and Trade Marketing Manager, Gordon & MacPhail, Peter Sherry, Founder, The Beerhive Sarah Mackie, Buying Director, Brakes and Karen Ford, Manager, Brodie Countryfare.
The Awards have received sponsorship from a range of businesses and organisations, including; title sponsor ESS Support Services Worldwide, CMS, Dentons UK and Middle East LLP, Johnston Carmichael, Scotland Food & Drink, Serco NorthLink Ferries, Skills Development Scotland and Strachans.
Patrick Machray OBE, Vice-Chair of Opportunity North East (ONE) and former Chair of ONE Food, Drink & Agriculture, said: “We know that these are extremely challenging times for the food and drink industry as the country tackles unprecedented health, financial and economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our thoughts are with everyone in the sector working to slow the spread of the pandemic, ensure the health and wellbeing of people, and maintain the food supply chain. The current situation underlines the importance of food security and local production. We are very fortunate to have such great food and drink producers in the north east.
“Despite these difficult times, Aberdeenshire Council and Opportunity North East were keen to take a moment to celebrate and support the businesses in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray who entered the 2020 Awards.
“There were strong entries across all categories this year, underlining the breadth and quality of businesses in the sector in north east Scotland.
“We hope that by taking a moment to celebrate some of the brilliant producers in the region we can remind each other of the drive, innovation and achievements that make food and drink such an important part of our economy.”
Further details of the awards can be found at the https://www.nesfoodanddrinkawards.co.uk/ website.
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Opportunity North East Ltd
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