There was success for Courier Country businesses at the prestigious Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2018 on Thursday night.
The East Neuk-based St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company won the Dairy category for its St Andrews Farmhouse Cheddar.
Perthshire company Peel Tech Ltd was winner of the Innovation category whilst Perthshire-based Jim McLaren of Quality Meat Scotland won an outstanding contribution award.
The annual awards, hosted by chef and TV Personality Simon Rimmer, took place with over 740 guests in attendance at the glittering ceremony at Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre.
Twelve product-focused categories were judged by a thorough process, which included the scrutiny of packaging, quality of product and taste.
In the course of their assessment of the entries, the judges sampled 197 Scottish products ranging from cheese and chocolate, to ginger beer and gin.
The awards also highlighted business excellence, innovation and best practice across the Scottish food and drink industry.
Categories included Environmental Sustainability (won by The Bay Fish & Chips), Young Talent (won by Kirsty George of Luss Smokehouse), Innovation (won by Peel Tech Ltd) and Scottish Sourcing (won by The Whitehouse Restaurant).
Special recognition was awarded for Product of the Year (Isle of Harris Gin) and Business of the Year (Border Biscuits).
The awards are organised by Scotland Food & Drink and run in partnership with The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), with Asda as headline sponsor.
James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said: “Congratulations to all winners and finalists who have been selected from a record number of entries by our panel of more than 45 judges.
“Scotland is home to some of the most innovative producers and these awards give us the chance to celebrate just a few of them.
“We have a fantastic mix of established world-class businesses and a new generation of entrepreneurs coming through.
“Scottish food and drink is now a national success story. Our unique partnership of industry bodies and Scottish Government has driven that.
“However, it is the talent inside individual businesses that make our industry tick and who are putting Scotland on the global culinary map.”
James Warnock, RHASS chairman said: “We at RHASS are very proud of our partnership with the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards.
“Like us, they recognise those businesses and individuals in Scotland who are leading the way with innovation, enterprise and quality, and they help the consumer go on the farm to fork journey with the producer.
“Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to seeing more of what Scotland has to offer at the Royal Highland Show later in June.”
The dinner menu showcased Scotland’s fantastic larder including produce from previous winners and finalists.
The meal began with a starter of Luss Smokehouse Trout served with Summer Harvest Green Tarragon Mayonnaise, Scotch Leg of Aberdeenshire Lamb and Stornoway Black Pudding for main and finished with Pittormie Gooseberry, Elderflower Grahams Dairy Baked Cream.
Scotland Food & Drink is an industry-led, commercially focused membership organisation, which aims to grow the industry to a value of £30bn by 2030 and build Scotland’s international reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.
The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) is a membership organisation with a charitable remit to promote land-based and allied businesses in Scotland.
Business Award Winners
Brand Success of the Year
Border Biscuits Ltd
Entrepreneur of the Year
Michelle Phillips, Mimi’s Bakehouse
Farne Salmon and Trout Ltd
Export Business of the Year
Tilly Confectionery Ltd
Peel Tech Ltd
Investing in Skills
Primary Producer of the Year
The Whitehouse Restaurant Lochaline
Success Through Partnership
Quality Pork Ltd
Kirsty George, Luss Smokehouse
Argyll & Bute
Tasted Award Winners
Specially Selected Orkney Caramel Shortbread
Foraged and Found
Confectionery, Drink and Snacking
Cocoa Ooze Chocolates
Liquorice & Black Pepper Bar
St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company
St Andrews Farmhouse Cheddar
Isle of Harris Distillers Ltd.
Isle of Harris Gin
Fish and Seafood
Loch Fyne Oysters Ltd
Food Service Product of the Year
The Scottish Salmon Company
Native Hebridean Farmed Salmon
ABC Crunchy Mix Nut Butter
East Coast Cured
Porcini & Truffle Salami
Own Label Product of the Year
Specially Selected Shortbread Rounds- Lemon
Savouries and Accompaniments
Spice Pots Goan Blend
Scotch Brand Product of the Year
PR DUFF LTD (T/A MACDUFF 1890)
MACDUFF 1890 Native Breed Body (Scotch Beef PGI)
Overall Award Winners
Food Pioneer of the Year
Calum Richardson – Bay Fish and Chips
Product of the Year
Isle of Harris Distillers Ltd – Isle of Harris Gin
Business of the Year