Excellence is the watchword now

Some of nation’s top producers pick up prizes at industry awards

Scottish produce was the subject of celebration this month when some of the top businesses and individuals in the nation’s food and drink sector were recognised at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards.

• The winners at this year’s Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards with their trophies.
• The winners at this year’s Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards with their trophies.

Gongs were handed out to 20 winners on the night in recognition of their contribution to the industry.
Among those recognised on the night was Ninth Wave Restaurant on the Isle of Mull, which picked up the Scottish Sourcing award; chef Fred Berkmiller of L’escargot bleu, who was named Food Pioneer; and Daniel Sherry of Eden Mill, who snapped up the Young Talent award.
This year’s awards also included nine product-focused categories, with each entrant subjected to a judging process which included scrutiny of the packaging, quality of product and taste.
Over the course of their assessment of entries, awards judges were said to have sampled 165 products.
Other winners on the night included The Buffalo Farm for its buffalo fillet steak in the meat category; John Ross Jr (Aberdeen) for its Balmoral fillet in the fish and seafood category; Macamoon for its Scottish selection in the snacking category; Mara Seaweed for its Shony flakes; RTM Sales Solutions for its Magnum Scotch malt whisky cream liqueur in the alcoholic drink category; and Cuddybridge apple juice for its Gala apple juice.
Other winners included Commitment to Health winner Eat Balanced; Loch Fyne Oysters, which scooped the Investing in People prize; and Scottish Sea Farms, which took the Innovation award.
Scotland Food & Drink chief executive James Withers congratulated all winners and finalists of this year’s awards, which he said had attracted a “record number of entries”.
“There has been a revolution in food and drink in Scotland and the awards show why that is,” said Withers.
“We have an amazing mix of established world-class business and a new generation of entrepreneurs coming through.
“Crucially, there is now a culture of collaboration in Scotland – industry bodies and companies working together to build our reputation and our sales.
“Challenges are never far away, but the opportunities for growth and innovation over the next few years are hugely exciting.”