A TOTAL of 19 Scottish food and drink businesses and individuals have been selected from a record-breaking number of entries at the “Oscars” of the food and drink industry.
Overall there were 239 entries and a shortlist of 50 businesses at this year’s Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2015.
Finalists represented a broad spectrum of the sector, from small companies like Isle of Skye Sea Salt Company and Charlotte Flower Chocolates through to industry giants including foodservice company Entier and AG Barr.
Siblings Jo and James Macsween, of Macsween Haggis, were jointly awarded a surprise Outstanding Contribution to Food & Drink accolade, in recognition of the company’s growth, which is driven by their vision and dedication to creating new consumers through innovative product development and social media marketing.
A record-breaking number of entries were received for the awards, up 56 per cent from 153 entries in 2014.
In the course of their assessment of the award applications, the judging panel tasted more than 260 products during a two-day session, examining submissions from 116 businesses across Scotland.
The winners were announced by broadcaster Kaye Adams at a ceremony at Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland yesterday.
Chief executive of trade body Scotland Food & Drink, James Withers, said: “This year’s awards have been a huge success with a record number of entries and our biggest ever award dinner with over 800 people there to celebrate the sector. The skill, passion and innovation that mark our industry is represented in the diversity of the finalists and winners.”
Stephen Hutt, chief executive of award partners the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, said: “The winners represent the finest of Scotland’s food and drink. Produced with passion, skill and the finest raw ingredients farmed in Scotland’s fertile ground, we are proud to represent primary food producers who, in partnership with tonight’s winners, support Scotland’s growing reputation as one of the best places to eat in the world.”