The Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards returns for 2023

Published 01/06/2023 by Gilpin Bradley 3 min read

Woman standing in front of whisky barrels drinking a shot of whisky

Last October we saw the welcome return of The Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards and I was given the immense honour of being awarded Ambassador of the Year for the second time in my career.

Businesses can submit their nominations for the 2023 awards in fourteen categories at before the closing date.

Shortlisting will take place during the summer with the winners being revealed at the prestigious awards ceremony at Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness on Friday 27th October. Tickets will be available to buy later in the year.

It was great to see a huge number of entries from food and drink businesses across the Highlands and Islands in 2022, from brewers to bakers and restaurateurs. Finalists across the ten categories truly represented the very best of food, drink and hospitality across the region - covering everything from Highland classics such as whisky and salmon, to trend-led innovations including seaweed chips and vegan chocolate. The array of innovative and passionate producers and eateries is nothing short of inspiring.

As part of my duty as Ambassador, I have joined the Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards steering group alongside Douglas Hardie from Highland Food and Drink Trail, Marian Armitage from Shetland Food and Drink, Sam Faircliff from Cairngorm Brewery, the team from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and our latest young ambassador of the year, Ella Moxon from Midge Bite Café. The job of our group is to shape the future of the awards - making sure we continue to represent the ever-changing industry and ensure our awards remain nationally recognised.

For 2023, we’ve developed three new categories that allow participation from an even wider-cross section of the industry: an E-commerce Award, the Best Start Up Award and a Best Street Food Award.

Entering the awards is a great way of raising the profile of your business or product. Whether you’re looking to drive awareness amongst peers; get your name into the media; create buzz across social media; or if you’re looking for a new buyer; the Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards are a recognised and trusted accolade.

A lot has changed in the last nine years, but the purpose of the awards stays the same - we want to help raise the profile of food and drink businesses in our region. Amidst the challenges we in the industry face, the opportunities the awards present can only aid in the success of our region as a food and drink leader.

We know that the food and drink industry in Scotland is worth £15bn with ambitious plans to double this by 2030. We have a huge role to play in this and with this ready-made platform to show off what we’re doing in the Highlands and Islands, I would encourage business owners and team members to join us for Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards 2023.

Good luck everyone!

HIE supports the delivery of the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards.

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