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Highlands and Islands businesses shine at the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards 2015

28 May 2015

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) congratulates five of the region’s businesses which scooped food ‘oscars’ at the 2015 Scotland Food and Drink Awards last night (Wednesday 27 May).

The ambitious companies from the Highlands and Islands recognised at the ceremony were: Isle of Skye Sea Salt Co which came first in the Soups, Preserves & Accompaniments category; Golspie Mill which won the Bakery & cereal Based category; The Argyll Smokery which won the Fish & Seafood category; Bruichladdich Distillery & The Agronomy Institute of UHI which came first in the Innovation category; and the Scottish Salmon Company, who won the Business of the Year category.

With 23 award categories celebrating excellence across Scottish food and drink, the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards showcase a broad spectrum of food and drink companies from across the country.

HIE’s Senior food and drink development manager, Iain Sutherland, 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. We would like to congratulate the but also applaud the runners-up from the Highlands and Islands on their fantastic achievment during the Year of Food and Drink. We hope the accolades will help them all to develop their businesses and contribute to the outstanding success of the Scottish food and drink industry. We would like to achknowledge the companies from our region which were shortlisted for the awards."

A record breaking 239 entries were received for the Excellence awards, up 56% from 153 entries in 2014. In the course of their assessment of the award applications, the retail and foodservice judging panel tasted over 260 products during a two day tasting session, examining submissions from 116 businesses across Scotland.

The winners were announced by broadcaster Kaye Adams at a ceremony at Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland on 27 May. Dubbed the Scottish food and drink ‘Oscars’, the ceremony sold out in record time and was bigger than ever before with more than 800 guests attending on the night. Attendees were treated to a drinks reception and delicious dinner, showcasing the very best of Scotland’s larder.

The awards are organised by Scotland Food & Drink in partnership with The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland. The title sponsor is Asda and the awards are supported by Think Local.

Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, James Withers, said: “This year's Awards have been a huge success with a record number of entries and our biggest ever award dinner with over 800 people there to celebrate the sector. The skill, passion and innovation that mark our industry is represented in the diversity of the finalists and winners. Food and drink is now a national success story for Scotland and the Awards let us shine a light on just some of the people and world-class products that are behind that success. Crucially, it gives us the complete confidence that our industry will continue to grow in markets at home and overseas in the years to come."

Other companies which were shortlisted for awards in the region were: Baxter's; Wooleys of Arran; Arran Dairies; Dunnet Bay Distillers; Gigha Halibut; Lawrie & Sons; Loch Fyne Oysters; and CalMac Ferries.

The HIE sponsored Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards are now closed for entries although winners will be announced on the night in Inverness on 23 October.

Access to Markets is a programme delivered by Scotland Food and Drink and supported by HIE. Many of the award winners took advantage of the programme to help them meet new buyers for their products

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