The organisers of the Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards announced that this year's entry deadline for the prestigious awards has been extended until midnight on Monday 2 July.
Supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the awards celebrate excellence and achievement in the area's food and drink industry.
Penny Ellis of organisers, the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Forum, said: "We appreciate that it has been a hectic time recently for many businesses in the industry. The Awards exist to provide a platform for some of our country's brightest and most innovative individuals and businesses, and we are keen to encourage as many as possible to enter so that we can continue to blaze a trail for this dynamic and prosperous industry.
"The two week extension of the closing date for entries provides an opportunity for businesses who had intended to enter but who found that time was just not on their side."
Businesses and individuals in the food and drink industry throughout the region are called to celebrate their talent and effort by entering the 2012 Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards.
Scotland's reputation as an innovative producer of some of the best food and drink in the world has never been higher. Yet it is less widely reported that much of the industry's growth is being driven by food and drink companies based in the Highlands and Islands.
Held for the eighth time, the event aims to showcase the wide range of diverse products and businesses now operating in the region can celebrate their achievement and encourage them to be innovative, forward thinking and collaborative.
Categories open for entry are Best Drink, Best Marketing Initiative, Development of Export Markets, Environment, Healthier Food & Drink, Independent Food & Drink Retailer of the Year, New Business, New Product, Restaurant of the Year, Best Other Eatery, Young Shining Star.
The shortlisted finalists will be announced in September and the Awards Dinner and Ceremony to honour the winners will take place at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness on Friday, 19th October. Tickets are £70 and can be purchased online.
The awards are supported by HIE, and each year the event attracts over 250 representatives from the region's top food and drink businesses who gather to celebrate all that is best in the industry in the Highlands and Islands. More details of the dinner including entertainment will be issued at a later date.
Entry is free and easy and businesses can enter as many categories as they want. To help with the entry process, the Awards organisers have pulled together their Top Ten Entry Tips to help make the process less daunting and as straightforward as possible.