Nominate your young food and drink staff for national recognition

Last year’s winner was 23-year-old Craig Chambers, a Distiller at Dunnet Bay Distillers based in Thurso

DOES your business harbour one of the young stars of Scotland’s food and drink sector?

If so, there is an opportunity to have them recognised as such – with a cash prize – in the annual Inspirational Young Person Awards, which is seeking nominations up til midnight on 3 July 2023.

The award is designed to shine a light on the inspiring stories of people aged 16-26 who own, work, or study within a food and drink related business, organisation or institution in Scotland. A joint initiative between Scotland Food & Drink and insurer NFU Mutual, it is open to all hardworking young staff members – from waiting staff, chefs, bar team members, to bakers, produce makers and behind the scenes crew. Young people running their own food or drink ventures can nominate themselves.

The winner will receive £500, with the second and third places finalists receiving £300 and £200 respectively. Those winners will be announced during Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, running from the 5th to 20th September.

Judges are looking for entrants who are keen to continue to be a future shining example to Scotland’s food and drink sector. Last year’s winner was 23-year-old Craig Chambers, a Distiller at Dunnet Bay Distillers based in Thurso. He impressed the judges with his natural flair for the distillery business.

Craig identified improvements and helped create new recipes designed to reduce energy consumption during distilling, which helped the business during energy price increases.

Craig said: “Winning this award was an amazing high-point for me. I have since been on a placement at a distillery in Argentina to learn even more about the industry and other food and drink cultures. The prize money of £500 came in very handy for my travels too.”

Mark McBrearty, NFU Mutual’s Regional Manager in Scotland and one of the judges for the award, said: “The importance of young people to Scotland’s food and drink sector cannot be overstated. This special award illustrates just how wide a contribution they make and how valuable their drive and innovation are to business success.”

Chief Executive at Scotland Food & Drink, Iain Baxter, said: “I am really looking forward to discovering the wealth of talent – both culinary and business-focused – among the younger generation in our industry.

“Scotland has a proud reputation nationally and internationally for its food, drink and hospitality. Supporting the future of our sector by recognising up and coming talent is crucial to its long-term success.”