Awards launch to celebrate excellence across region’s food and drink businesses

Monday 30 October

Innovation and success within the region’s vibrant food and drink sector are set to be celebrated with the launch of the North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards 2018. The awards are free to enter and are open to all food and drink producers based in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray.

Delivered in partnership by Aberdeenshire Council and private sector economic development body Opportunity North East (ONE), the 13 award categories available for entry span the breadth of the industry from celebrating those Investing in Skills Development to the Best Young Business, Food & Drink Entrepreneur and the Denis Emslie Above & Beyond Award, plus many more.

The awards have celebrated the success of the region’s food and drink sector for more than 25 years, highlighting excellence in quality and produce. Growing year on year, they provide businesses with an opportunity for increased sales, new trade connections and greater recognition of their brand, products and innovation.

Past winners of these prestigious awards include Castleton Farm Shop, Fierce Beer, The Bay Fish & Chips and Mackie’s of Scotland.

This year, the awards have introduced one new category, Best New Brewed or Distilled Product, which aims to highlight products developed specifically for the retail and/or foodservice sectors.

Pat Machray, Chair of ONE Food, Drink & Agriculture, said:

“Our region has a well-established reputation and excellent prospects for further growth across food, drink, agriculture and seafood based on its wide range of primary produce, new and established businesses, big name brands and international connections. At ONE, we recognise the potential of the sector to make an even greater contribution to the regional economy in the years ahead and are working with partners and businesses to drive an ambitious growth agenda.

“With a strong focus on excellence and innovation, these awards will ensure industry pioneers get the recognition they deserve, and we hope they will support business growth and encourage the creation of many more successful food and drink businesses to come.”

Councillor Peter Argyle, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee said:

“Our food and drink sector is a vibrant and dynamic part of what makes Aberdeenshire such a success. These awards seek to highlight that dynamism and capture it into something that all of us can be proud of. I encourage businesses and producers across the area to enter these awards and ensure that their produce gets the recognition they so richly deserve.”

The closing date for entries is Monday 29 January 2018. Winners will be announced at an awards dinner, which will take place on Thursday 22 March 2018 at the Ardoe House Hotel.

The Awards have received sponsorship from a range of businesses from the North East and across Scotland, including ESS Support Services Worldwide, The Moray Council, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, Johnston Carmichael, Mackie’s of Scotland, Scotland Food & Drink and Skills Development Scotland.

Visit the www.nesfoodanddrinkawards.co.uk website for more information and to enter the awards.

ENDS

Media contact:

Rebecca Harvey, Taste Communications

T: 0131 225 7205

E: Rebecca@tastecommunications.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

The North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards celebrate growth, innovation and success within one of the region’s key industry sectors and are a joint initiative between Aberdeenshire Council and private sector economic development body Opportunity North East (ONE). The awards form part of a wider programme of activities that support growth in the food, drink and agriculture sector that are delivered by ONE and its partners.

2018 Award Categories

Most Successful Product from the 2017 Awards
For the most successful product that reached the finals in 2017. Judged on sales, new businesses generated, product changes. Aberdeenshire Council sponsors this Award. (Open to successfully shortlisted product entries from the 2017 Awards)

Best New Retail Product (1-10 employees)
For food and non-alcoholic drink products developed specifically for the retail sector – can be branded or own label. Products launched between 1 January 2017 and 31 January 2018. Excludes products that are brewed/distilled.

Best New Retail Product (11-50 employees) For food and non-alcoholic drink products developed specifically for the retail sector – can be branded or own label. Products launched between 1 January 2017 and 31 January 2018. Excludes products that are brewed/distilled. Aston Scott sponsors this Award.

Best New Retail Product (51 and above employees)
For food and non-alcoholic drink products developed specifically for the retail sector – can be branded or own label. Products launched between 1 January 2017 and 31 January 2018. Excludes products that are brewed/distilled.

Best New Brewed or Distilled Product 
For brewed or distilled products developed specifically for the retail and/or foodservice sectors. Products launched between 1 January 2017 and 31 January 2018.  (NEW CATEGORY)

Best New Foodservice Product (1-10 employees)
For products developed specifically for the foodservice and catering sector. Products launched between 1 January 2017 and 31 January 2018. Excludes products that are brewed/distilled. ESS Support Services Worldwide sponsors this Award.

Best New Foodservice Product (11+ employees)
For products developed specifically for the foodservice and catering sector. Products launched between 1 January 2017 and 31 January 2018. Excludes products that are brewed/distilled. ESS Support Services Worldwide sponsors this Award.

Denis Emslie Above & Beyond Award
For an individual who has gone above and beyond their duty to help within their own business or the wider industry. Mackie’s of Scotland sponsors this Award.

Best Young Business
For a business less than five years old that can demonstrate the uniqueness of their business/business plan/marketing approach. Scotland Food & Drink sponsors this Award.

Investing in Skills Development
For a business who has shown the greatest achievement in raising skills of their workforce and achieving business benefit. Skills Development Scotland sponsors this Award.

North East Scotland Food & Drink Entrepreneur
For the top food and drink entrepreneur (owner/manager) – judged on performance, entrepreneurial focus, strategic planning, innovation & leadership. Johnston Carmichael sponsors this Award.

Best Food Tourism Experience
For a primary or added value food or drink producer who has created a local food and drink experience, which is successful at attracting visitors both local and from out with the North East. Opportunity North East sponsors this Award.

Innovation Award
For a business who can demonstrate a high level of innovation in their business – whether in product, process or packaging.   CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP sponsors this Award.

Aberdeenshire Council

Food and drink is highlighted as a key sector in the Aberdeenshire Council Economic Development Strategy, which aims to create the conditions for sustainable economic growth, diversification and regeneration within Aberdeenshire and the wider region by attracting and supporting businesses.

Opportunity North East

Opportunity North East (ONE) is the private sector’s response to the long-term economic challenges facing North East Scotland.

ONE is industry-led, privately funded, region-specific and focuses on action to achieve business growth and safeguard or create employment, which gives it a unique ability to add value to economic development activity in North East Scotland. With an investment commitment of £29 million over five years from the Wood Foundation, ONE catalyses partnership working and co-investment with the aim of leveraging a further £29 million of match funding from the private and public sectors to deliver transformational projects.

ONE’s goals are to:

  • Work with others to lead the development and delivery of the region’s economic renaissance strategy
  • Grow the region’s food, drink and agriculture sector
  • Build the region’s life sciences sector
  • Maximise the oil and gas opportunity for the region
  • Evolve tourism in the region to exploit new business and leisure opportunities
  • Develop the region’s digital economy and entrepreneurial environment

These have been developed in conjunction with industry and stakeholders, reflect the real opportunities within the region and its key industries, and are aligned with sector-specific, regional, Scottish and UK economic development priorities and strategies.

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