Food for thought

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PRE-judging for the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards was held at the Barn and Bushel, Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, on Tuesday.

A total of 29 companies have entered the prestigious event, which annually attracts the best in local produce from Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City and Moray.

Nearly 60 products were assessed at this stage of the competition and the shortlisted products will go through to the final, which will be judged on Thursday, March 15.

Grampian Food Forum Co-ordinator, Elizabeth Mathie, said some companies were making their debut.

She added: “We are delighted with the response to this year’s competition and are particularly pleased to see some companies entering for the first time.

“Caledonian Bison Ltd, Farmlay Eggs, Food for Thought/Veg in a Box, The Smokehouse Aberdeenshire Ltd, Ria’s Sambal, Deeside Brewery Ltd and Crannach Bakery are first time entrants and we welcome their participation in the event.”

The winners will be announced at the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards presentation dinner at the Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, on Thursday, March 15, which around 200 representatives from the local food and drink industry are expected to attend.

Tickets for the presentation dinner cost £55 and can be booked by completing the form found at www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/foodawards.

The Grampian Food Forum is a partnership comprising senior members of the North-east’s food and drink industry and the area’s main development agencies, including Scottish Enterprise.

The Forum advises the public sector organisations on the needs of the food and drink industry so that programmes and projects can be put in place, which are focused on the actual needs of the industry.

It provides an opportunity for companies from different sectors to learn from each other and to exchange ideas.