The Co-op Group and Scotmid Co-operative have teamed up with celebrity chef Nick Nairn to reward the nation’s top suppliers.
The retailers, which between them stock over 1,800 Scottish lines, are launching the first ever Co-op Scottish Supplier Awards to recognise outstanding suppliers who make a difference across sectors including bakery, grocery, fresh, beers, wines and spirits.
The awards will also reward those suppliers who contribute to local life or have demonstrated sustainability in their food production.
The youngest Scottish chef to win a Michelin star in the 1990s, Mr Nairn will head the judging panel for the awards, which will be handed out at a ceremony in Glasgow on 12 September, hosted by TV presenter Jennifer Reoch.
“I was raised on delicious home grown Scottish food,” he said, “and I’m thrilled that my fellow Scots are just as passionate about buying, cooking and eating Scottish food as I am. It’s great to see two of our largest convenience retailers really putting our national food names in the spotlight.”
The 10 categories are:
- Bakery of the Year
- Beers, Wines and Spirit Product of the Year
- Best Agricultural Initiative
- Fresh Product of the Year
- Grocery Product of the Year
- Investor in Scottish Communities
- Local Supplier of the Year
- Most Sustainable Supplier
- New Product of the Year
- Own-label supplier of the Year
- Supplier of the Year (Judges’ Choice)
CJ Antal Smith, the Co-op Group’s trading director, said: “Food provenance means everything to our customers and members here in Scotland – they’re passionate about buying great quality, delicious home-grown fare. We‘re delighted to be launching the inaugural Scottish Supplier Awards, which will give us the perfect opportunity to celebrate the colossal gastronomic and economic that Scotland’s farmers, growers and suppliers make to the foodie landscape.”
Simon Dryell, head of local sourcing at the Co-op Group, added: “As a community retailer, locally sourced produce is an area where we’re seeing continued growth driven by consumer demand for trust, provenance and quality.
“We’re also committed to celebrating, supporting and showcasing our smaller local producers whose products consistently display an inspiring mix of quality, pride, history and innovation.”
Stephen Brown, local sourcing manager at Scotmid, said: “Scotmid is committed to providing our customers and members with excellent produce available locally and recognised nationally for its high quality.
“The advent of the Scottish Supplier Awards provides us with a great opportunity to shine the spotlight and recognise excellent local produce; ranging from globally recognised brands to small family businesses.”
Suppliers have until 5pm today to submit their entries. Where appropriate product samples will be requested. More information on how to enter is available on the Co-op Group’s website.