The achievements of north east Scotland’s pioneering food and drink producers are set to be recognised as the industry navigates unprecedented changes in consumer behaviour and markets and invests in its future sustainable growth.
Almost 30 businesses have been shortlisted for the 2022 North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards, which celebrate excellence and innovation across the breadth of the industry from ambitious new starts to global brands.
The Awards are back after two years dominated by the global pandemic and new intrenational trading arrangements. The sector has successfully responded to multiple challenges and demonstrated agility and leadership. Bringing new products to market to meet rapidly-evolving consumer tastes and significant shifts in domestic and international markets. Businesses have connected with their customers in new ways, embraced e-commerce opportunities and are leading the industry with their commitment to low-carbon production with investment to deliver net zero targets through resource efficiency, digital transformation and advanced manufacturing.
Delivered by Opportunity North East (ONE) in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council, the Awards are open to all food and drink producers in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray – which together account for more than 20% of Scotland’s sector output excluding whisky and employ more than 22,000 people.
The Awards cover 12 categories that reflect the breadth of the industry in the region, which is synonymous with premium produce from land and sea. They cover all aspects of business from Best New Product, Best Distilling and Brewing through to Export, Sustainability, E-commerce and Operational Excellence.
Shortlisted and winning businesses benefit from feedback from the judges, greater brand recognition, increased sales and new trade connections, all of which support the sector’s evolution and growth. Pitching to industry experts, influencers and buyers is a key part of the Awards process.
The 2022 finalists are: Amity Fish Company Ltd, Associated Seafoods Ltd, Brite Drinks, Burnobennie Distillery, Caber Coffee, Cambus O'May Cheese Company, Castleton Farm, City of Aberdeen Distillery & Gin School, Donald Russell, Dean's, Ellon Spirits, Entier Limited, Foghouse Spirits, Forest Farm Dairy Ltd, Leaves and Snails, Mackie's of Scotland, Mackintosh of Glendaveny Limited, Middleton of Rora Dairy Produce Ltd, Outlaw Rum Company Ltd, Raven Spirits Limited, Raw Culture Ltd, Six°North, Summerhouse Drinks Ltd, Sutherlands of Portsoy, House of Botanicals, the wee Scottish Cider Company, Thistle Seafoods Limited, The Two Raccoons.
On judging all product categories, Stephen Brown, Head of Food Services, CJ Lang said: “It was fantastic to be at the judging in person and have the opportunity to sample such an impressive and diverse range of products. I was incredibly impressed with the range and standard of entries and thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the businesses. North east Scotland is justifiably proud of the vibrant and innovative businesses and talented people committed to excellence that represent its food and drink sector. Congratulations again to everyone who entered, it was a pleasure judging these awards and I’d like to wish all the finalists the very best of luck. It is hugely encouraging to see the region powering ahead and showing industry leadership, across product and market development and in its commitment to producing healthy, premium, sustainable food and drink that provides quality jobs.”
The category judging panels this year included senior industry representatives from Loch Leven’s Larder, ESS Energy and Compass Scotland, The Gin Cooperative, Scotmid, Serco NorthLink Ferries, Strachans, SDI, CMS, SMAS and Aberdeenshire Council.
The awards ceremony will be held on Thursday 9 June at The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen. Tickets are £84pp including VAT and can be booked online at: www.nesfoodanddrinkawards.co.uk.
The Awards are sponsored by a range of businesses and organisations, including title sponsor ESS Support Services Worldwide, CMS, Robert Gordon University, Scotland Food & Drink, Serco NorthLink Ferries, Skills Development Scotland and Strachans.
Your privacy matters to us so if you want to find out more on how we keep your data safe, view our Privacy Notice or talk to ONE direct.