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Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in north east Scotland’s vital food and drink sector – Aberdeen Business News



INDUSTRY-leading food and drink businesses from across north east Scotland have been recognised for their excellence and innovation.

The 2024 North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards, delivered by Opportunity North East (ONE) in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council, brought the industry together to celebrate achievements and successes in the vital growth sector and recognise investment in people, products and processes.

Winners of the 2024 awards across nine categories – including best new products, innovation and growth – were AGD Duff & Partners, Amity Fish Company, Associated Seafoods, Burnside Brewery, Little Brown Dog Spirits, Reynolds Cocktails and Singularity Sauce Co. Fraser Chapman, a trainee auctioneer with ANM Group received the rising star award and SeaFest Peterhead landed the best food and drink tourism experience title.

The results were announced at the awards dinner at Meldrum House Country Hotel on Thursday (9 May) evening, with an audience of more than 230 industry professionals, hosted by food and drink writer and broadcaster Aleesha Hansel.

For over 30 years, the awards have served as a catalyst for businesses venturing into new markets. Entrants have reaped the benefits of expert feedback and insights from judges across the UK food industry to enhance their competitive edge, including senior representatives from Waitrose and SPAR Scotland on this year’s judging panel.

ESS, part of Compass Group UK & Ireland, is the title sponsor for the awards, and SPAR Scotland, Strachans, Serco NorthLink Ferries, CMS, Scotland Food & Drink, DYW North East Scotland and G McWilliam (Aberdeen) support the awards.

The awards dinner saw Martyn Lee, Executive Chef for Waitrose, who leads the retailer’s food innovation team, and Alison Hargreaves from Young’s Seafood share insights on the importance of their retailer and supplier relationship.

Stanley Morrice MBE, Chair of the ONE Food, Drink and Agriculture Board, said: “Food and drink manufacturing and production are at the heart of north east Scotland’s economy and have a vital role to play in driving growth, productivity and providing high-skills jobs for the future. These awards recognise the success of committed and talented people and teams across the sector, and I congratulate all the finalists and winners on their achievements in the past year.

“Opportunity North East works with ambitious business founders and leaders to achieve their goals and lead their food and drink businesses to the next level. ONE challenges and inspires ambition, provides access to industry expertise, connections and commercial facilities, and supports with entrepreneurial education and mentoring. The sector-specialist support ONE has developed over the past eight years with partners will combine with manufacturing and innovation space at ONE SeedPod, when the new hub opens in 2025.

“ONE SeedPod will be a unique growth catalyst and commercial resource for the industry to use, and I look forward to seeing how it inspires and enables new and established businesses to innovate and grow,” said Mr Morrice.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr Alan Turner, said: “For many years now these awards have helped showcase the very best north-east food and drink producers, successfully raising the profile of their businesses and products to local and national markets. We are delighted to continue our partnership with ONE to recognise these success stories, promoting the region as a pacesetter in the Scottish food and drink industry.

“Each year, the north east of Scotland’s economy is massively bolstered by £2.2billion thanks to its tremendous food and drink production. Not only that, the sector continues to support around 22,000 jobs across the region which is hugely important for our communities.

“The Food and Drink Awards play an important role in celebrating local businesses and key figures within the industry who, despite all the challenges facing them such as ongoing energy and supply costs, continue driving innovation and business growth.

“To our award winners, I congratulate you all for demonstrating how you have successfully seized upon opportunities and tackled head on the challenges the food and drink market has faced during recent years,” said Cllr Turner.

The full list of winners and finalists is as follows.

Reynolds Cocktails Winner
CocoCaramel Highly commended
D!P Shortlist
Cabezon Beverage Shortlist
A G D Duff & Partners Ltd Winner
Mackie’s of Scotland Highly commended
Amity Fish Company Shortlist
Auchmaliddie Mains Beef and Lamb Shortlist
Associated Seafoods Winner
Mackie’s of Scotland Shortlist
Raw Culture Shortlist
Brew Toon Shortlist
Singularity Sauce Co Shortlist
Singularity Sauce Co Buffalo Hot Sauce Winner
Amity Fish Company Fish Pie Highly commended
Balmoral Game Venison Kofta Shortlist
Mearns Marmalades Heather Honeyed Red Grapefruit Marmalade Shortlist
Maclean’s Highland Bakery Maclean’s Luxury Highland Bakery All Butter Scottish Shortbread Selection 400g Shortlist
Kincardine Castle Kitchen Seeded Rye Crackers with Scottish Sea Salt and Olive Oil Shortlist
Company Product  
Burnside Brewery Wayfinder Winner
Figment Coffee Company Beanstalk: Home Compostable, Specialty Coffee Pods by Figment Coffee Highly commended
Raw Culture Raw Culture reimagined! Shortlist
Brew Toon St Clement’s Radler – Brew Toon x Summerhouse Drinks Shortlist
Company Product  
Little Brown Dog Spirits Aberdeenshire Foraged Gin – UNLIMITED EDITION Winner
Ellon Spirit Company Ellon Spirits – Sloe Gin Highly commended  
Fierce Beer Fierce Cerveza 4pk Shortlist 
Little Brown Dog Spirits Wee Mongrel Blended Rum Shortlist 
Reynolds Cocktails Single Serve Cocktail Pouches & Christmas Gift Boxes Shortlist 
Lost Loch Spirits Cutaway Rum Shortlist 
Company Product  
Burnside Brewery Wayfinder Winner
Figment Coffee Company Beanstalk: Home Compostable, Specialty Coffee Pods by Figment Coffee Highly commended
Raw Culture Raw Culture reimagined! Shortlist
Brew Toon St Clement’s Radler – Brew Toon x Summerhouse Drinks Shortlist
Amity Fish Company Winner
Raw Culture and Singularity Sauce Co Highly commended
Scottish Pig Producers Shortlist
Walker’s Shortbread International team Shortlist
Fraser Chapman, ANM Group Winner
Emma Irvine, Rora Dairy Highly commended
Leona Rhind, Dean’s of Huntly Shortlist
Luke Burnett, Marshall’s Farm Shop Shortlist
SeaFest Peterhead Winner
Wild Food Stories Shortlist
The Lobster Shop Shortlist
Westerton Farmers Shortlist
Aberdeen Cocktail Week Shortlist
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