Scotland’s farmers, food and drink manufacturers and suppliers were celebrated first ever Co-op Scottish Supplier Awards 2018 on Wednesday.
The event, jointly organised by the Co-op Group and Scotmid Co-operative as part of Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight, saw local suppliers line up alongside big-name brands for categories including Bakery of the Year, Beers, Wines and Spirit Product of the Year, Most Sustainable Supplier and Investor in Scottish Communities.
Winners included Arbroath’s Angus Soft Fruits, who picked up two gongs – Own Label Supplier of the Year and Fresh Product of the Year for their Ava Rose strawberries.
Meanwhile, Hamilton-based Equi’s Ice Cream – which supplies almost 300 stores across Scotland – scooped the award for Local Supplier of the Year while its Isle of Skye Sea Salt and Caramel Ice Cream won Grocery Product of the Year.
Scotland’s rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said: “My congratulations to these very worthy winners, and to all those who were nominated. It’s great to see Scotland’s amazing natural produce being celebrated in this way during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight.
“Our food and drink sector is currently worth around £14bn per year but, by working with producers and partners in the sector – many of whom are represented at tonight’s awards – we aim to double that by 2030, by ensuring that more people at home and abroad get the chance to enjoy what Scotland has to offer.”
Celebrity chef, Nick Nairn, who led the award’s judging panel back in August, was joined by the ceremony’s host, television star Jennifer Reoch and retail bosses at Glasgow’s Marriott hotel.
The Co-op Group’s John McNeill said: “Tonight has been a fantastic celebration of Scotland’s flourishing food and drink industry, which the Co-op is so proud to support. We are thrilled to be able to host our first ever event during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight – further proof of our commitment to providing our customers and members with the very best choice of high-quality Scottish produce.”
Stephen Brown, local sourcing manager at Scotmid, said: “Scotmid would like to extend our congratulations to all of tonight’s winners – as expected, the standard in all of the categories was extremely high and underlines the excellence prevalent in the Scottish Food and Drink Industry.
“The first year of this event has been a success and Scotmid aims to continue being involved because serving and celebrating the best local Scottish produce is something we’re proud to have done for the past 160 years.”
The winners are:
- Bakery of the Year – Stag Bakeries Ltd
- Beers, Wines and Spirit Product of the Year – Rock Rose Gin by Dunnet Bay Distellers and Innis and Gunn’s Craft Brewed Lager
- Best Agricultural Initiative – Rattlerow Scotland Ltd
- Fresh Product of the Year – AVA Rosa Strawberries by Angus Soft Fruits
- Grocery Product of the Year – Equi’s Isle of Skye Sea Salt and Caramel Ice Cream
- Investor in Scottish Communities – Malcom Allan Ltd Family Butcher and Tennent’s Lager
- Local Supplier of the Year – Equi’s Ice Cream
- Most Sustainable Supplier – We Hae Meat Ltd
- New Product of the Year – Protein 22 by Graham’s Family Dairy
- Own-label supplier of the Year – Angus Soft Fruits
- Supplier of the Year (Judges’ Choice) – A. G Barr soft drinks
Between them, the Co-op Group and Scotmid stock more than 1,800 Scottish lines in their stores.