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'Time for food & drink firms to shine'

23 January 2012

Scottish food and drink companies are missing a trick by hiding their light under a bushel says James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink as he launches the 2012 Excellence Awards which recognise outstanding achievement in the industry

“Scots businesses are traditionally reticent to put their heads above the parapet and shout about their success and food and drink companies are no exception. In the current economic climate, it’s even more important that they and their brands are visible - both to consumers and within the industry – and we have some fantastic stories to tell.”

“We are challenging businesses to make 2012 the year that they put modesty to one side and share their successes – it’s not only good for business but for the industry, inspiring others. The Excellence Awards are a great way to boost your business and past winners have enjoyed positive publicity and increased sales.”

Scotland Food & Drink and The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, are inviting companies to showcase their products and services by entering the awards which have gained a reputation as the ‘Oscars’ of the food and drink industry.

Following the success of last year’s event, the presentation ceremony will again take place at the Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro Hotel on Thursday 24 May 2011.

ASDA, headline sponsor of this year’s Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards, is one retailer that has shown a real commitment to meeting the demand for high quality locally sourced products in its Scottish stores.

Michael Mccallion, Local Buying Manager for Scotland at ASDA commented: “Scotland’s reputation for producing delicious local food and drink is well deserved and we’re delighted to support the Excellence Awards which recognise the high standards of quality and innovation in the industry.

“We’ve been working with Scottish producers in collaboration with Scotland Food & Drink for some time through the supplier development programme and we’re looking forward to discovering even more local talent as we grow our offering of over 850 Scottish lines in our stores.”

The 2012 awards will see some changes to the judging process. Every product entered into the tasted categories will be sampled by the prestigious panel giving every entrant, no matter how big or small, the chance to tantalise their tastebuds.

Entrants to the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards and the Highlands & Islands Food and Drink Awards will automatically be entered into the Excellence Awards where a corresponding category exists. Companies can enter the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards by downloading an entry form from www.scotlandfoodanddrink.org The closing date for entries is 2 March 2012.

Those looking to book tickets for the ceremony and dinner should contact linda.chirnside@scotlandfoodanddrink.org or call 0131 335 0940

Categories for the 2012 awards include:
· Retail - Soup, Preserve, Accompaniments - sponsored by ASDA
· Retail - Fish & Seafood - sponsored by ASDA
· Retail - Bakery & Cereal-based - sponsored by ASDA
· Retail – Meat (Red, White & Game) – sponsored by ASDA
· Retail - Drink (Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic) – sponsored by ASDA
· Retail – Dairy – sponsored by ASDA
· Retail - Confectionery & Snacking - sponsored by ASDA
· Food Service Product - sponsored by Sodexo
· New Product Marketing - sponsored by Johnston Carmichael
· Healthy Choices/Healthy Eating - sponsored by Food & Health Alliance and Food Standards Agency Scotland
· Export Business of the Year – sponsored by Clydesdale Bank
· Success Through Working in Partnerships - sponsored by SAOS and the C2 Project
· Profiting Through Skills – sponsored by Scotland Food & Drink Skills Academy and Skills Development Scotland
· Profiting Through Research – sponsored by Interface
· Environmental Sustainability – sponsored by Zero Waste Scotland
· Food and Drink Tourism – sponsor to be confirmed
· Young Talent – sponsored by Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight
· Product of the Year (judged from all tasted categories)– sponsored by RHASS
· Business of the Year (judged from all business categories) – sponsored by Scotland Food & Drink


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