North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards to recognise industry excellence

The North east is a powerhouse of Scotland's food and drink industry with premium produce from land and sea, ambitious startups, scaling businesses and global brands leading in net zero manufacturing and premium market development.
Steven Lewis, Head Brewer at Burnside Brewery. (Pic:Karen Murray, First Pix)Steven Lewis, Head Brewer at Burnside Brewery. (Pic:Karen Murray, First Pix)
Steven Lewis, Head Brewer at Burnside Brewery. (Pic:Karen Murray, First Pix)

The 2023 North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards will recognise excellence and innovation across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, and Moray.

Delivered by Opportunity North East (ONE) in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council, the Awards showcase the breadth of the industry. They recognise the achievements, entrepreneurship and products of food and drink producers of all sizes and at all stages of growth.

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One business looking forward to entering for the first time is Burnside Brewery in Laurencekirk,

Head Brewer Steven Lewis said: "We took over the business in 2018 and have focussed on increasing our range of classic and craft beers. At the same time, keeping our values of using local ingredients and making beer with refreshing and subtle flavours. We are also looking at ways to innovate and grow. We see the Awards as a fantastic platform to increase our profile and make useful industry contacts."

Food and drink is the UK's largest manufacturing sector. More than 22,000 people work in the industry in north east Scotland, and the region accounts for more than 20% of Scotland's total food and drink output.

Stanley Morrice MBE chairs the food, drink, and agriculture board at Opportunity North East.

He said: "North east Scotland's world-class food and drink sector is entrepreneurial, innovative and its products are in demand across the UK and internationally. Large and small businesses are successfully navigating the opportunities and challenges of today's market to produce healthy, sustainable, premium products that consumers are seeking.

"The 2023 awards provide the industry platform to celebrate their achievements in both innovation and market development. We want to see success stories of consumer-led product development and hear from the businesses putting innovation and sustainability at the heart of their operations," said Mr Morrice.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council's Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr John Crawley, said: "Food and drink remains a key sector in our Economic Development Strategy, and these awards showcase the best of the region's food and drink producers who play such an important role in the north east economy.

"Despite these hugely challenging times - whether it be the impacts of Covid, soaring energy bills and the cost of living crisis - these producers have met these obstacles head-on and ensured that their quality products are still heading out to local, national and international markets. We are delighted to continue our partnership with ONE to recognise these success stories, which promote the region as a pacesetter in the Scottish food and drink industry."

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The awards are free to enter, with 12 categories to choose from, ranging from Best New Product to Best Distilled Product, to Best Young Business.

Entries should be made via The closing date is Wednesday, March 1, and winners will be announced on Thursday, June 8.