Thursday 30 March
Businesses throughout the region are celebrating after winning at the prestigious North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards. Eleven winners were announced at the awards ceremony and dinner, held at the Ardoe House Hotel last night (Thursday 30, March). The winners were selected from a staggering 74 entries across all categories.
The awards, delivered in partnership by Opportunity North East (ONE) and Aberdeenshire Council, are part of an ambitious programme of activity to support food and drink businesses of all sizes through business growth, innovation, strengthening the supply chain, market development and skills development.
Pat Machray, Chairman of Opportunity North East’s Food, Drink & Agriculture Board, said: “ONE is investing in the growth potential of the region’s strong food, drink and agriculture sector, which includes globally recognised brands and innovative start-ups. These awards provide an excellent platform for businesses to raise their profile and recognise the excellence of companies of all sizes in north east Scotland. The winners and finalists should be able to use the recognition they have received tonight to promote their brands and products, increase turnover and ultimately provide more high value employment in the region. We wish them every success in their endeavours and look forward to working with them in assisting them with their future wherever we can.”
Businesses were successful from all parts of the region’s food and drink industry, from Speyside Craft Brewery, winner of the Innovation Award; to Castleton Farm Shop, winner of the Best New Retail Product; to Fierce Beer, winner of the Best Young Business.
Angus Bell, Local Solutions Category Manager for Morrisons in Scotland, said: “I was delighted to be part of the judging, together with my fellow judges Cate Devine and Kevin Shand. We were enormously impressed with the level of innovation and superb quality of products entered into both the Retail and Foodservice categories and it was a privilege to meet the passionate local people behind these products.
“Our customers at Morrisons tell us that they want to see more food and drink that is made locally, from their own communities. They are also looking for producers who meet local food tastes, this is why we recently launched our ‘Nation’s Local Foodmakers’ campaign, with the aim of further increasing the number of local suppliers and products in our stores. As these Awards have highlighted, the North East Scotland food and drink offering is world-class and one it should be proud of.”
The full list of winners are;
Ben Iravani of Monkey Bars Aberdeen and Langstane Liquor, Castleton Farm Shop,
Denise Middler of J&I Smith Bakers Ltd, Fierce Beer, Gordon Castle Walled Garden,
Mackie’s of Scotland, Murdoch Allan Bakers, Speyside Craft Brewery Ltd, Summerhouse Drinks Ltd, The Bay Fish & Chips and Westfield Farms.
Head of Economic Development & Protective Services with Aberdeenshire Council, Belinda Miller, said: “It’s inspiring to see so many companies innovating and developing exciting new products in response to market demand. The North East is at the forefront of developing some truly unique food and drink businesses with products that appeal to local, national and international markets.”
The awards received sponsorship from a range of organisations including ESS Support Services Worldwide, Aston Scott, Highlands and Island Enterprise, Johnston Carmichael, Mackie’s of Scotland, Maclay, Murray and Spens LLP, Scotland Food & Drink, Skills Development Scotland, Strachans Ltd and The Moray Council.