Voting in this year’s Orkney Food and Drink Awards is now underway, with fans of great local produce being urged to nominate their favourite business.

The awards form part of a re-energised and expanded Orkney Food Festival, which will run over the summer months and culminate in a special gala event in late September/early October.

Organised by Orkney Food and Drink, the festival is being supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Orkney Islands Council and the LEADER programme.

Nomination forms for the awards have been published in this year’s edition of tourist magazine The Islander, with additional printed forms available soon in Orkney Food and Drink members’ outlets throughout the County. Voting is also now live on the new Orkney Food and Drink website – www.orkneyfoodanddrink.com

Twelve award categories cover everything from the best breakfasts, lunches and evening meals, to the finest bakery, drink and dairy products. Voters can also nominate businesses for their marketing initiatives and new products, with a special continued excellence award up for grabs too.

“These awards give local people and visitors to Orkney the chance to formally recognise and reward excellence in our food and drink sector,” said Edgar Balfour, development manager for Orkney Food, Drink and Crafts. “Many of our businesses are already multi-award winners outwith Orkney, so this is a great opportunity to do something for them on their home turf.

“Voting will run over the summer months in conjunction with the Orkney Food Festival programme of events to ensure we gather as many nominations as possible ahead of our awards ceremony later in the year,” added Mr Balfour. “We’d urge anyone who feels they’ve had a great meal, experienced excellent service, or enjoyed a fantastic local product, to let us hear about it by voting.”

To qualify for entry into the awards, businesses have to be full or associate members of Orkney Food and Drink – a membership organisation which aims to help grow Orkney’s food and drink sector through a programme of joint marketing and promotion at local and national level.

“More and more businesses are joining us under the Orkney Food and Drink umbrella and experiencing the benefits of a collective approach to promotion of the Orkney brand,” said Mr Balfour. “Businesses retain their individuality, which is essential in terms of promoting their unique products, but the strength in numbers element of membership can’t be underestimated.”

With a range of membership options available for businesses of all sizes, Mr Balfour urged anyone interested in joining Orkney Food and Drink to get in touch.

“We’re hoping this is going to be an exceptionally busy year for Orkney food and drink businesses, with our revamped food festival expected to boost interest in local produce, both within the County and further afield,” he said. “There’s really no better time for businesses to get on board and access the really incredible value for money we are offering.”

ENDS

For further information contact:

Edgar Balfour, Development Manager,

Orkney Food, Drink and Crafts.

Tel: 01856 761430.

 

 

 

 

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