The Judges

Best Retail Product (small, medium, large)

  • John King, Managing Director, JK Fine Foods – John started off his career in the hospitality industry during his early twenties when his father opened King Foods, now one of leading food and drink distributors in the north east of Scotland. John was at the forefront of the company supplying some of the best chefs and restaurateurs in the country. Over twenty years later, John decided to venture into the world of retail, desiring to showcase the best of local produce to the general public. Now almost into his third year of retail, John has accumulated an array of awards for his store JK Fine Foods.

Best Foodservice Product – sponsored by ESS Support Services Worldwide

  • Ronnie Kelman, Business Director, ESS Support Services Worldwide – Ronnie leads his teams in the delivery of safe, innovative and market leading catering and support service solutions to clients and customers in the oil and gas sector. Being local to the area, Ronnie particularly enjoys working with the farmers, fisherman and small businesses that operate in the food and drink sector. ESS has already achieved a great deal, however Ronnie is excited for future opportunities and the ongoing development and promotion of great local produce that is justly recognised for its exceptional quality and unrivalled provenance.
  • Kevin Shand, Regional Account Manager, Braehead Foods Ltd – Kevin has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 25 years. He joined Braehead Foods in 2010 and has since gained valuable experience in the speciality fine food market. Kevin’s role at Braehead Foods includes sourcing, buying and marketing of new products and he is always looking to add new Scottish products to their range.

Best Brewed and Distilled Product 

  • James, Taylor, Buying and Trade Marketing Manager, Gordon & MacPhail  

Best Young Business – sponsored by Strachans Ltd

  • A. Stuart Donaldson, Managing Director, Strachans Ltd – With 24 years Foodservice experience working for both regional and national operators, Stuart has spent the last 16 years at Strachans supplying the Offshore Oil & Gas and Renewables sector. For much of that time, Stuart has focused on Operations where cost management and measuring efficiency have been key drivers. Following a significant operational restructuring process, Stuart became Managing Director of Strachans in September 2018.
  • Jane MacLeod, Business Growth Manager, Opportunity North East
  • Roz Taylor, Operations Manager, Elevator & Business Gateway

Investing in Skills Development – sponsored by Skills Development Scotland

  • Gerry McBride, Strategic Relations Manager, Skills Development Scotland

Food & Drink Business Growth – sponsored by Johnston Carmichael

  • Graeme Fraser, Partner, Johnston Carmichael
  • Fiona Kenneth, Audit Senior Manager, Johnston Carmichael

Export Business of the Year – sponsored by Dentons UK and Middle East LLP

  • Malcolm Gunnyeon, Partner, Dentons UK and Middle East LLP
  • Gary McDonald, Market Development Manager, ONE/Scotland Food & Drink
  • Caryln Sinclair, International Senior Manager, Scottish Development International – Food and Drink

Best Food & Drink Tourism Experience

  • Bill Dean, Managing Director, Dean’s of Huntly Ltd
  • Karen Peattie, Journalist

Sustainability Award – sponsored by Scotland Food & Drink

    • Caroline de Rouffignac, Industry Development Officer, Scotland Food and Drink
    • Claudia Cowie, Team Leader, Sustainability and Climate Change, Aberdeenshire Council

Innovation Award – sponsored by CMS

      • Frank Fowlie, Partner, CMS
      • Neil Freckingham, Director, ONE Food Hub
      • Make Innovation Happen

Most Successful Product from the 2019 Awards – sponsored by Aberdeenshire Council

    • Gary Hughes, Business Gateway Manager, Aberdeenshire Council
    • Suzanne Robertson, Business Development Executive, Aberdeenshire Council

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