New food & drink award for young people

Entries and nominations are being sought for a new award that recognises the incredible talent and dedication being shown by Scotland’s young people within the food and drink sector.

Specialist food and drink insurer, NFU Mutual, joined forces with industry leadership organisation, Scotland Food & Drink, to create a brand-new award, designed to bring out the inspirational stories of young people aged between 16 and 26 who own, work or study within businesses in the food and drink sector, and are driving success within the Scottish food and drink industry.

The winners of the ‘NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award 2018’ will be announced during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight in September 2018 as part of the Year of Young People celebrations. The award aims to highlight not only the enormous contribution that young people make to Scotland’s food and drink businesses, but also the importance of the sector to the wider economy.

James Withers, Chief Executive of not-for-profit organisation Scotland Food & Drink, said: “With this being the Year of Young People, I was incredibly keen that we afforded young people even greater recognition by working with NFU Mutual to seek out the most inspiring young foodies in Scotland.”

“Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight this year will be a celebration not only of Scotland’s wonderful produce and outstanding producers but also of those people under the age of 26 who are helping to secure an exciting future for the food and drink industry in Scotland.”

“I very much encourage employers, tutors, colleagues, customers or young people themselves to nominate any individual who is worthy of recognition for the way in which they contribute to Scotland’s worldwide reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.”

Brian Lochhead, Sales Development Consultant with NFU Mutual, said: “As I travel throughout Scotland representing NFU Mutual, I frequently see how integral young people are to Scotland’s food and drink sector. Whether it be in primary production, utilising their skills to develop modern and appealing graphics and packaging or serving some of Scotland’s iconic products in our fantastic restaurants, young people thoroughly deserve a recognised place in our country’s food and drink story.”

Scotland Food & Drink is a unique leadership organisation – supported by the Scottish Government – tasked with growing the value of Scotland’s food and drink sector, making it more profitable and building Scotland’s international reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead

Former Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment in the Scottish Government, Moray MSP Richard Lochhead welcomed the award, saying: “Young people are increasingly turning to our diverse and exciting food and drink industry for career opportunities as the sector goes from strength to strength. This new award is a tremendous way to recognise and highlight the achievements of young people in the industry. Food and drink is a mainstay of the Moray economy and I hope we see local people nominated.”

How to Enter

The NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award 2018 is open for entries until 31 July 2018, with winners announced in September 2018. Entries, which should comprise the submission of up to 750 words, can be submitted online at http://fooddrinkfort.scot/. Any individual between the ages of 16 and 26 who owns, works, or studies within a food and drink related business, organisation or institution can be nominated or enter on their own behalf. The winner will receive £500, with the second and third place finalists receiving £300 and £200 respectively.

The hashtag being used to celebrate this award is #nfums18.