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Last call for entries to the Williamson Foodservice Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards

With just over two weeks remaining until the closing date for the prestigious Williamson Foodservice Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards, businesses and individuals involved in the food and drink industry across the Highlands and Islands are encouraged to act now to ensure their entries are submitted in time for the deadline of 20 July.

The Awards, sponsored by Williamson Foodservice, organised by the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Forum, and supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scotland Food & Drink, celebrate excellence and achievement in the food and drink industry in the Highlands and Islands.

Eleven award categories recognise high standards and quality across the industry, and include the exciting new award for Young Ambassador of the Year, recognising the important role of our young people in the industry, both today and in the future. Other categories reward successful new products and businesses, innovation, promotion of healthy living, good environmental practice, commitment to
local produce, and individual achievement.

Hazel Gordon, chairman of the Highland & Islands Food & Drink Forum, said: “As well as encouraging good practice in the industry throughout the Highlands and Islands, the Williamson Foodservice Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards are a great way for businesses to raise their profile. As previous winners will testify, winning an award is a great way to draw attention to and extend the market for your business.”

Gary Williamson, managing director of Williamson Foodservice and title sponsor of the event, said: “Its been good to see a healthy response from businesses and organisations across the area for this year’s Awards. I’d encourage all businesses across the Highlands and Islands to enter – this industry endorsement for your business or product is a great boost for staff morale and an excellent way to enhance your marketing campaigns too.”

For further information on the Awards and how to enter, phone 0845 838 2748 or visit
Selected quotes from last year’s winners:

The Storehouse of Fowlis, Ross-shire, won the ‘Best Use of Local Food Award’, sponsored by John M Munro, in 2008. Michelle Stevens of The Storehouse said: “Winning the award last year for best use of local produce was a fantastic boost for our staff and recognised all the hard work that is involved with dealing with multiple local producers rather than bulk buying from one large organisation. Sourcing locally is an important part of our businesses ethos and is hugely valued by our customers and we were delighted that this was recognised. The award has also highlighted our commitment to local producers which has allowed us to expand our stock considerably over the last year.”
The Captain’s Galley of Scrabster, Caithness, won the 2008 Taste of the Highlands and Islands Restaurant of the Year Award sponsored by the Press and Journal. Jim Cowie of The Captain’s Galley said: “I would urge people to enter the Awards because it offers a potential level of publicity that is difficult for small businesses to afford. Many local suppliers in the Highlands and Islands have a tremendous depth of knowledge in their respective fields, and genuinely fantastic products as a result. The Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards is an excellent vehicle to help showcase both the businesses and their products.”

The Really Garlicky Company of Nairn won the 2008 ‘New Product Award’, sponsored by Falls of Shin and Balnagowan. Heidi Irvine of The Really Garlicky Company said: “Winning the award was like a seal of approval.  It gave us the incentive to re-design the packaging and offer it to the multiples with the result that our product is now available in Waitrose in Scotland”