Almost 30 businesses have been shortlisted for the 2022 North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards, which celebrate excellence and innovation across the breadth of the industry from ambitious new starts to global brands.
The Awards are back after two years dominated by the global pandemic and new international trading arrangements.
The sector has successfully responded to multiple challenges and demonstrated agility and leadership.
Bringing new products to market to meet rapidly-evolving consumer tastes and significant shifts in domestic and international markets.
Businesses have connected with their customers in new ways, embraced e-commerce opportunities and are leading the industry with their commitment to low-carbon production with investment to deliver net zero targets through resource efficiency, digital transformation and advanced manufacturing.
Delivered by Opportunity North East (ONE) in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council, the Awards are open to all food and drink producers in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray.
The Awards cover 12 categories that reflect the breadth of the industry in the region, which is synonymous with premium produce from land and sea.
They cover all aspects of business from Best New Product, Best Distilling and Brewing through to Export, Sustainability, E-commerce and Operational Excellence.
Shortlisted and winning businesses benefit from feedback from the judges, greater brand recognition, increased sales and new trade connections, all of which support the sector’s evolution and growth.
Pitching to industry experts, influencers and buyers is a key part of the Awards process.
Six businesses from across the area have been named as finalists: Donald Russell; Ellon Spirits; Foghouse Spirits; Forest Farm The Organic Dairy; Mackie's of Scotland; Raven Spirits Limited.
On judging all product categories, Stephen Brown, Head of Food Services, CJ Lang said: “It was fantastic to be at the judging in person and have the opportunity to sample such an impressive and diverse range of products.
"I was incredibly impressed with the range and standard of entries and thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the businesses.
"North east Scotland is justifiably proud of the vibrant and innovative businesses and talented people committed to excellence that represent its food and drink sector.
"Congratulations again to everyone who entered, it was a pleasure judging these awards and I’d like to wish all the finalists the very best of luck.”
The awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, June 9 at The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen.
Tickets are priced at £84 per person including VAT and can be booked by visiting: www.nesfoodanddrinkawards.co.uk.