Food awards held

Entries are now open for the 22nd annual Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards, which reward food and drink companies based in Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen and Moray for their new product innovations.

Companies will compete for titles in best packaging, commitment to healthy eating, best marketing plan and judges’ choice, as well as the most successful product from the 2011 awards.

Also included are categories for best new retail and best new food service product, which are split into two sections; for companies with up to 25 employees and for those with more than 25 employees.

Being introduced this year is the award for the Grampian food and drink entrepreneur of the year, which is sponsored by chartered accountants and business advisers, Johnston Carmichael.

Johnstone Carmichael partner Graeme Fraser said: “Johnston Carmichael has supported the Innovation Awards for a number of years and in 2012 we wanted to introduce a category which reflected our focus on advising entrepreneurial growing businesses.” Marketing Society Scotland will be supporting the awards for the first time this year by sponsoring the category for the best marketing plan, offering a marketing mentor to the category winner.

This year’s winners will be announced by The Co-operative Group Chief Executive Peter Marks at a presentation dinner at the Thainstone Exchange, Inverurie, on Thursday, March 15.

Peter, who will chair the panel of judges, said: “I am delighted to be involved in the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards 2012. Scotland has some fantastic food producers, large and small, many of whom already have worldwide reputations for quality and value.”

All companies intending to submit entries to the 2012 awards should advise the organisers by Tuesday, January 31. This will help determine whether pre-judging of any category may be required. If so, this will take place on Tuesday, February 28, at the Barn and Bushel, Thainstone, Inverurie.

Final judging will take place on Thursday, March 15, followed by the awards presentation dinner that night at the Thainstone Exchange, Inverurie.