Do you know somebody aged 26 and under who is doing exceptional things in Scotland’s thriving food and drink industry?

Organisers of the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards are calling for people to embrace the Year of Young People 2018 and enter those demonstrating passion and talent in the food and drink industry for the prestigious Young Talent award, before entries close this Friday, 9 March.

To coincide with the Scottish Government’s first ever Year of Young People 2018, the age limit for the Young Talent award has been raised to 26 and under, giving young people the opportunity to shine and showcase their contribution to food and drink in Scotland.

This year’s Young Talent winner could be young employee who demonstrates enthusiasm and passion for the industry, a chef who strives to use as much of Scotland’s larder as possible, a farmer at the forefront of the primary sector, a young entrepreneur introducing new and innovative produce or perhaps a skilled food scientist, engineer or marketeer working for one of Scotland’s top food manufacturers.

Last year’s winner was 24 year old Liam Pennycook. Liam started off his career as a distiller at Strathearn Distillery in Perthshire and has more recently joined Twin River Distillery in Aberdeenshire as Head Distiller and Distillery Manager. Liam said:

“I was absolutely thrilled to win the Young Talent at last year’s Excellence Awards. To be shortlisted against some fantastic people and then to win was just amazing and a real boost to my confidence. Since winning the award, I’ve taken on new challenges at a new distillery and my passion for distilling continues to grow. Whether you want to enter yourself or somebody you work with, I’d encourage you to do it as you never know!”

David Thomson, from category sponsor Food and Drink Federation Scotland, added: “We are delighted to sponsor this important category. The Scottish food and drink industry is a great success story – much of this is due to the enthusiastic and talented people working in the sector driving innovation and growth. There are many rising stars working in food and drink that deserve to be recognised for their contribution to this success. The finalists and winner of this award will be excellent role models that can inspire more new recruits to join our vibrant industry.”

The Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards celebrate innovation, enterprise and excellence in the Scottish food and drink scene. Growing year on year, they have become a highly acknowledged accreditation to receive by industry peers and offer a fantastic platform to celebrate businesses who champion the industry.

Entries for the core awards close on Friday 9 March and this year’s award ceremony will be held at the EICC on Thursday 7 June.

The Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards are organised by Scotland Food & Drink and in partnership with The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS). The headline sponsor is Asda.

For more information and to enter visit: