64 businesses from across Scotland have been announced as finalists for the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2017, which are to be hosted by chef, restaurateur, author and television presenter, Simon Rimmer.
Winners from all 22 categories will be announced on Thursday 18th May at the awards ceremony and dinner, held in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
Showcasing innovation, enterprise and quality in the Scottish food and drink scene, businesses shortlisted ranged from: The Bay Fish & Chips for Success through Partnership, to Strathearn Distillery for Young Talent; Stewart Brewing Ltd for Brewing, to Aldi for Own Label; l’escargot for its Scottish Sourcing to Yester Farm Dairies Ltd for Primary Producer of the Year.
On hosting the awards, Simon Rimmer said: "I’m delighted to be hosting the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards again in May. Last year there were some really competitively fought categories so I'm looking forward to discovering new ideas and recognising the innovations of established Scottish brands.
“There have been some exciting developments over the last year in Scotland, especially in the brewing and distilling industries, such as the growth of gin and craft beer, which now have their own category.
“I’d like to congratulate all those shortlisted today and I'm looking forward to sharing a great night with all the people who make Scotland such a special place for food and drink.”
The awards received 272 entries across the 22 categories, a record number on previous years. New for this year were the Distilling, Brewing and Own Label categories, in line with the ever-growing appetite in the Scotland food and drink sector.
Chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, James Withers, said: “We’ve had such a diverse range of businesses entering the awards this year which is fantastic to see. Our new categories of Brewing and Distilling were our most highly entered, so we are proud to be supporting these pioneers in their field and giving them a platform on which to display their products.
“We’re thrilled to welcome back Simon Rimmer as our prestigious host for the evening. It’s set to be a great event, good luck to all those shortlisted!”
Tickets for the glittering awards ceremony and dinner are available from Scotland Food & Drink priced at £125 + VAT for Scotland Food & Drink members or £250 + VAT for non-members. Tickets can be purchased from Scotland Food & Drink.
Organised by Scotland Food & Drink and in partnership with The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), the awards received sponsorship from a range of influential businesses including Sodexo, The Grocer, CalMac, Quality Meat Scotland and Asda, the headline sponsor.