Food & drink awards recognise excellence and innovation across NE Scotland

Industry-leading food and drink businesses from across north east Scotland have been recognised for their excellence and innovation in the sector.

Industry news
Published: 09/06/2023

Industry-leading food and drink businesses from across north east Scotland have been recognised for their excellence and innovation in the sector.

The 2023 North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards, delivered by Opportunity North East in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council, brought the industry together to celebrate achievements across product and market development, process innovation and business growth, sustainability and people and skills.

Eleven businesses emerged as winners on the night across 12 categories from an impressive shortlist of 36 companies from ambitious early-stage businesses to established global brands.

Businesses have continued to grow, launch new products, connect with consumers in new ways and invest in digital transformation, automation and decarbonising their operations over the past year.

The winners were announced last night at the awards ceremony at The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen, with an audience of 250 food and drink industry professionals hosted by broadcaster and musician, Dougie Vipond.

Winners of the 2023 awards include: Amity Fish Company Ltd, Barra Berries, Burnside Brewery, Cabezon Beverage, CocoCaramel, Dean’s of Huntly, Farmlay Eggs, Mackie’s of Scotland, Singularity Sauce Co, Summerhouse Drinks Ltd and Vertegrow.

Speaking at the awards dinner, Stanley Morrice MBE, Chair of Opportunity North East’s Food, Drink and Agriculture Board, said:

“This key sector continues to innovate and grow. That is down to your ambition and drive. You are passionate about your businesses and products, and you are practical and determined. You always look ahead for new opportunities, markets, and customers. You make this famously enterprising region a leader in food and drink manufacturing.

“ONE is leading action and investment to deliver the specialist programmes and support, facilities, space, and connections to enable the industry to grow. The sector’s transformational £27 million investment to create a food and drink manufacturing innovation hub – ONE SeedPod – is breaking new ground with construction underway and due to open in late 2024.

“The unique combination of commercial facilities, sector knowledge, insights and expert networks in ONE SeedPod will enable businesses to develop new on-trend products for premium markets, test and implement more efficient and sustainable production and manufacturing processes, and support high-potential new businesses to scale their manufacturing and grow faster.

“Food and drink is one of the most dynamic and enterprising industries in our economy. I'm excited to see what it will achieve next,” said Mr Morrice.

Cllr John Crawley, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council's Infrastructure Services Committee, said:

“Food and drink production continues to be an essential part of the North East Scotland’s economy, worth £2.2 billion and employing 22,000 people across the region.

“Our region has an excellent base for growth in food, drink, agriculture, and seafood, with its wide range of primary produce, diverse businesses, well recognised brands, and international connections.

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Opportunity North East to celebrate local businesses and key figures within the industry and my congratulations go to our very deserving 2023 award winners and all those who were shortlisted this year.”

The category judging panels this year included senior industry representatives from ALDI Scotland, Aberdeen Airport Northern Lights Lounge, Huffman’s, Lomond Food Group, and Elevator as well as representatives from the Awards’ sponsor organisations including title sponsor ESS Support Services Worldwide, CMS, Robert Gordon University, Scotland Food & Drink, Serco NorthLink Ferries, Skills Development Scotland and Strachans.

A full list is available to view on the Awards website

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