Bigger, Better And Tastier Than Ever Before: Scottish Food & Drink 'Oscars' Launch

In what promises to be the food-lovers’ event of the year, the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2014 were given a special launch today by Iain Burnett, The Highland Chocolatier.

Recognising excellence across the food and drink industry in Scotland, the awards will be the biggest yet and will take place in their largest ever venue, the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Iain Burnett, The Highland Chocolatier, who won the coveted Product of the Year award last year, said:

“There are so many exciting things going on in the Scottish Food and drink world and I’m thrilled to be launching the 2014 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards. I was delighted to have won last year and would urge others businesses to enter. The award brought us real recognition and the kind of publicity you just can’t buy.”

Known as the Scottish food and drink industry’s ‘Oscars’, the ceremony will be bigger than ever before with more than 500 guests attending the glamorous event on 22 May. Attendees will be treated to a drinks reception and sumptuous dinner, showcasing the very best of Scotland’s larder. Tickets for the event are on sale from Scotland Food & Drink now.

Organised by Scotland Food & Drink in partnership with The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), the awards recognise excellence across 21 different categories, including ten tasted awards; Scottish Food & Drink Entrepreneur and new categories, Scottish Sourcing and Brand Success of the Year. The event’s headline sponsor is Asda.

Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, James Withers, said:
“The Excellence Awards recognise the very best that Scotland’s food and drink industry has to offer. From the big players to small artisan producers, the awards recognise our best products and businesses. 2014 brings with it the opportunity for Scotland to shout about the phenomenal food and drink our country produces on an international stage and with this being a landmark year for Scotland, the awards are bigger than ever before. We're going to be in the capital's biggest venue for the ceremony and dinner and with 500 tickets already sold with four months to go, the event will be well attended by key players.  It offers a great networking opportunity as well as a celebration of our industry's 'Oscars’.  I’d recommend that people buy their tickets soon before they completely sell out.

“Scotland has a longstanding reputation as a Land of Food and Drink and the awards provide a fantastic platform to celebrate the outstanding achievements across our industry. These achievements deserve recognition and I would encourage companies of all sizes to enter this year’s awards.”

Stephen Hutt, RHASS’ Chief Executive, added his support to the award, saying:

“RHASS is committed to building understanding between consumers, farmers and producers through education and events including Eat, Drink Discover Scotland.  These awards are an important showcase for excellence and innovation and RHASS is delighted to play its part in creating such a glittering platform for outstanding Scottish food and drink.”

Food and drink businesses from across Scotland have six weeks to enter online at  Entries for the awards close on 28 February.

· Categories for the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2014 are:

1.     Soup, Preserves & Accompaniments (sponsored by Asda)
2.     Bakery & Cereal Based (sponsored by Asda)
3.     Dairy (sponsored by Asda)
4.     Confectionery & Snacking (sponsored by Asda)
5.     Drink- Non-Alcoholic (sponsored by Asda)
6.     Drink – Alcoholic (sponsored by Shepherd and Wedderburn)
7.     Fish & Seafood  (sponsored by The Crown Estate)
8.     Meat – Red, White & Game (sponsored by Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight)
9.     Foodservice Product of the Year (sponsored by Sodexo)
10.  Health Initiative of the Year (sponsored by Rowett Institute / Food Standards Agency)
11.  Brand Success of the Year (sponsored by Palletforce)
12.  Export Business of the Year (sponsored by Clydesdale Bank)
13.  Innovation Award (sponsored by Queen Margaret University)
14.  Investing in People (sponsored by Skills Development Scotland)
15.  Success through Partnership (sponsored by SAOS)
16.  Environmental Sustainability (sponsored by Resource Efficient Scotland)
17.  Scottish Sourcing (sponsored by Taste Our Best, VisitScotland)
18.  Scottish Food & Drink Entrepreneur (sponsored by Johnston Carmichael)

· Product of the Year award (sponsored by Eat, Drink, Discover RHASS) is selected from winners of categories 1-10
· Business of the Year (sponsored by Business Stream) is selected from winners of categories 11-16.

· Small Business of the Year (sponsored by Scottish Natural Heritage) is selected from winners of categories 11-16.


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