Three weeks left to enter Food Forum Innovation awards

Graeme Ross of JG Ross (Bakers) Ltd receiving the Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year 2014.
Graeme Ross of JG Ross (Bakers) Ltd receiving the Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year 2014.

North-east food and drink entrepreneurs have three weeks left to put forward their entries to be in with a chance of scooping one of the industry’s most prestigious awards.

The Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards are open to those businesses in Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City and Moray involved in the food and drink industry.

The closing date for nominations is Tuesday, February 3.

Categories open to nominations include best new retail product, best new foodservice product and company commitment to health and wellbeing.

Local businesses also have the opportunity to enter the categories of independent retailer of the year, best young business and the Denis Emslie Above and Beyond Award.

Winner of last year’s Denis Emslie award was Stonehaven-based The Bay Fish & Chips which has been serving up one of Scotland’s favourite dishes since 2006.

Calum Richardson from The Bay said: “Winning the Above and Beyond Award last year was a huge honour.

“The industry acknowledged my efforts and it felt great getting recognition for just doing what I love.

“The awards are a fantastic platform for local products and businesses to flourish and the opportunity to extend your network with other businesses is invaluable and definitely not something to miss out on.”

The accolade of Food & Drink Entrepreneur 2014, sponsored by Johnston Carmichael, went to Inverurie-based J.G.Ross (Bakers) Ltd.

Director of the company, Graeme Ross, said: “Businesses in the north-east of Scotland is recognised for both our excellence in food and drink and also for our entrepreneurial spirit.

“We are however very modest and get to where we are today thanks to drive, enthusiasm and leadership with support from strong teams.

“I would encourage you all to take 30 minutes to reflect on the challenges you have faced over the past 12 months and your successes and then complete an entry form for the award of Grampian Food & Drink Entrepreneur 2015.”

As part of the celebration of 25 years of innovation in the food and drink industry in the north-east, a workshop entitled, ‘Telling Your Story’ will take place on Wednesday, January 28, in Inverurie.

It will provide useful information and tips to help local food and drink businesses create compelling content and eye-catching images for use in PR, websites and social media platforms and also to provide assistance on entering the awards.

For further information on the Innovation Awards or to book a place at the workshop, please go to www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/foodawards.

Supporters of the 2015 Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards include Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen City Council, Ardoe House Hotel and Spa, Asda, AVC Media, ESS Support Services Worldwide, Grampian Food Forum

Steering Group, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Johnston Carmichael, Keenan Recycling Ltd., Mackie’s of Scotland, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, The Moray Council, The Press & Journal and Think Local.