The nation’s finest foods

OOFT! A fiery chilli sauce, made by the tiny Island Girl company in the Borders, is just one of the Scottish products to be honoured at the recent Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards.

Twenty-two companies, ranging from the recently formed Ronan Foods (producers of a range of free-from products) to Graham’s The Family Dairy (the largest independent dairy in Scotland, which won in three of this year’s awards categories) were honoured at the event, held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Winners from 22 companies, from start-ups to century-old bakeries, celebrate their victories at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards.
Winners from 22 companies, from start-ups to century-old bakeries, celebrate their victories at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards.

A surprise award was given to Alan Hardie, of West Lothian baker Paterson Arran, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Scottish food and drink industry.
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.
Graham’s The Family Dairy was named Brand Success of the Year, Food Entrepreneur of the Year and Business of the Year.
Mathieson’s Bakery, based in Falkirk, scooped the bakery gong for its Fresh Cream Bavarian Tarts while Glenrath Farms, in the Borders, was honoured for its Kitty Campbell Free Range Eggs.
Top snack was Ridge Cut Potato Crisps, made by Mackie’s at Taypack based in Perth & Kinross.
Cuddybridge Apple Juice and Scottish Sea Buckthorn was the judges’ favourite soft drink while The Spencerfield Spirit Company’s malt whisky, The Feathery, took the prize in the alcohol category.
Chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, James Withers, said on the night: “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’s ceremony was full of brilliant moments created by passionate producers from Scotland’s natural resources and RHASS is delighted to lend its support.”