North East Food & Drink Awards look to promising future

Mackies managing director, Mac Mackie.
Mackies managing director, Mac Mackie.

The annual North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards 2020 have launched with a new category for sustainability - a growing driver of customer decisions - which will recognise the leading sustainable business in the north east.

Delivered in partnership by private sector economic development leadership group Opportunity North East (ONE) and Aberdeenshire Council, over the last three decades, the awards have showcased the products and achievements of food and drink producers in the north east of Scotland of all sizes and at all stages, welcoming entries from both established and new businesses and recognising the achievements and successes of our entrepreneurial food and drink community.

The awards – which comprise 14 award categories from Investing in Skills Development to the Best Young Business and Best Foodservice Product - are open to all food and drink producers based in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray and are free to enter.

Throughout their history the awards have seen many of Scotland’s most prominent food and drink producers, including Mackie’s of Scotland, Associated Seafoods Ltd, Dean’s, Donald Russell, Mackintosh of Glendaveny, Joseph Robertson (Aberdeen) Ltd and Summerhouse Drinks, take home the coveted titles.

ONE Food, Drink & Agriculture activity is focused on growing the industry in the region through innovation, sustainable business growth, internationalisation, digital transformation, nurturing future skills and talent and through the delivery of transformational projects across the north east of

Scotland.

Patrick Machray OBE, chair of ONE Food, Drink & Agriculture, said: “For the past 30 years, the awards have showcased the very best of the region’s food and drink producers, successfully raising the profile of their businesses and products to local and national markets.

"During this time, we’ve seen a complete transformation within the industry, from the adoption of leading technologies and new product development to diversification and penetration of international markets. In recent years we have fostered a surge in food and drink start-ups,

launching new and innovative products.

"The 2020 Awards are a great chance for businesses to demonstrate how they have successfully addressed the opportunities and challenges of the food and drink market.”

Food and drink is a key sector in the Aberdeenshire Council Economic Development Strategy, which aims to create the conditions for sustainable economic growth, diversification and regeneration within Aberdeenshire and the wider region by attracting and supporting businesses.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council's Infrastructure Services Committee, Peter Argyle, said: “Food and drink production is an essential part of north east Scotland’s economy, worth £2.2bn and employing 22,000 within the region.

“The Awards play a key role in celebrating local businesses and key figures within the industry that are blazing a trail in the sector, driving innovation and business growth. We are delighted to continue our partnership with ONE to recognise these success stories, promoting the region as a pacesetter in the Scottish food and drink industry.”

Entries should be made via the website – www.nesfoodanadrinkawards.co.uk – which also contains guidance and support. The closing date is Monday, January 20 and winners will be announced at an awards presentation dinner on Thursday, March 19.