Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) congratulates three of the region’s businesses which scooped food ‘Oscars’ at the 2014 Scotland Food and Drink Awards last night (Thursday 22 May).
The ambitious companies from the Highlands recognised at the ceremony were: Loch Fyne Oysters from Argyll which came first in the Fish and Seafood category; FA027, an Avoch company which won in two categories: the Export Business of the Year award and Success through Partnership award; and Eilean Dubh Restaurant, from Fortrose which won in the Scottish Sourcing category.
With 22 award categories celebrating excellence across Scottish food and drink, the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards showcase a broad spectrum of food and drink companies from across the country.
HIE’s Head of Tourism Food and Drink, Chris Taylor said: “HIE is delighted to be working with our industry partners, Scotland Food & Drink to help many companies in every part of the Highlands and Islands to increase sales and reach new markets. This is a fantastic success for the region and our congratulations go to all the winners and nominees. We hope this will help them all in developing their businesses and contribute to the outstanding success of the Scottish food and drink industry.”
The event has almost doubled over the last 2 years and attracted an audience of 700 to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, where a meal showcasing the best of Scotland’s larder was served. The Scottish television presenter, Kaye Adams, hosted the event.
In the course of their assessment of the entries, the judges tasted 115 food and drink entries and examined submissions for 154 entries from 102 businesses across all the categories.
The awards are organised by Scotland Food & Drink in partnership with The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS). The event’s headline sponsor is Asda and the awards are supported by Think Local.
Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, James Withers, said: “We are thrilled to celebrate the standout successes of the Scottish food and drink industry with a record number of attendees at this year’s Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards. The awards recognise our best food and drink products and businesses and each of our finalists merit the commendation. There is a food and drink revolution happening in Scotland, driving record sales at home and overseas. Tonight celebrates the talent that is driving that and which is cementing Scotland’s place in the culinary world.
“I would encourage all finalists and winners to make the most of this recognition and to shout about their strengths. The awards take place during a massive year for Scotland and as the nation enjoys the limelight we will reinforce Scotland’s justified reputation as a Land of Food and Drink."
Stephen Hutt, Chief Executive of RHASS said: "Food and travel are inextricably linked, so in this the year of Homecoming it is fitting to showcase Scotland's food and drink producers who are so crucial to Scotland's tourism sector. Tonight is full of brilliant moments created by passionate producers from Scotland's natural resources and RHASS is delighted to lend its support."