Finalists revealed for awards

Judges: Hilary Sturzaker, Michael Whiteford and Sarah Mackie.
Judges: Hilary Sturzaker, Michael Whiteford and Sarah Mackie.

Businesses in the northeast are celebrating after being named as finalists in the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards 2016.

A number of Kincardine and Mearns businesses are named with the 29 finalists.

64 food and drink products were submitted for this year’s awards with 39 businesses entering, 12 for the first time. The shortlist includes a wide variety of food and drink businesses from the region, showcasing the strength and diversity of the industry.

The awards, which are in their 26th year, recognise excellence and innovation in food and drink in Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City and Moray. Shortlisted businesses include a range of established family businesses like Mackies of Scotland and Duncan’s of Deeside, new micro businesses like The Good Granola Company and Barra Bronzes and those with global export expertise like Associated Seafoods. Businesses are recognised in eleven categories including Best New Retail Product, Best New Foodservice Product, the Grampian Food & Drink Entrepreneur 2016 and the Best Young Business.

Sarah Mackie, Scottish Procurement Director for Brakes, led the judging panel, which included Michael Whiteford, Buying Director at ALDI and food blogger Hilary Sturzaker.

Sarah said: “As judges we were all impressed by the range and quality of food and drink from the area. Meeting the suppliers, many of whom are real entrepreneurs, also leaves you in no doubt about the enthusiasm and commitment to their products.”

From Kincardine and Mearns: Castleton Farm Shop, Duncan’s of Deeside, six°north brewery and Bay Fish and Chips.