Food forum finalists

The finalists for this year’s Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards have been announced following the pre-judging event which took place in Inverurie on Tuesday, February 28.

A total of 31 companies entered the prestigious event, which annually attracts the best in local produce from Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City and Moray.

The pre-judges, Craig Stevenson, owner and managing director of Braehead Foods Ltd, and Scott MacCorquodale, Store Manager, Aberdeen Union Street, Co-operative Group assessed 58 products at the Thainstone Centre and shortlisted those that will go through to the final on Thursday (March 15).

Mr Stevenson said: “I’ve enjoyed getting an insight into lots of different businesses and seeing similarities to my own business. I’ve seen a number of products which are of interest to me and I will be asking my buyers to make contact with these companies after the awards.”

Mr MacCorquodale added: “There are some fantastic companies with some excellent products that represent the great strength and depth of Grampian food and drink producers.”

The companies which made it through to the final include Andrew Gordon Butchery & Fine Foods, Baxters Food Group, Berry Scrumptious, BrewDog, Caledonian Bison Ltd, Cambus O’May Cheese Company, Castleton Farm Shop, Crannach Bakery, Dean’s of Huntly Ltd, Deeside Brewery Ltd, Deeside Water Company, Downies of Whitehills, Duncan’s of Deeside, Farmlay Eggs, Finzean Estate Farm Shop & Tea Room, Food for Thought/Veg in a Box, International Fish Canners (Scotland) Ltd, J.G. Ross (Bakers) Ltd, James Rizza and Sons Ltd, Joseph Robertson Aberdeen Ltd, Mackie’s of Scotland, Mackintosh of Glendaveny, Macphie of Glenbervie, Mitchells, Nor-Sea Foods Ltd, Ola Oils, The Smokehouse Aberdeenshire Ltd and Tilquhillie Fine Foods.

The winners will be announced at the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards presentation dinner at the Thainstone Exchange, Inverurie, on Thursday. It is estimated around 200 representatives from the local food and drink industry will attend.

The Grampian Food Forum is a partnership comprising senior members of the North-east’s food and drink industry and the area’s main development agencies, including Scottish Enterprise.