OVER 1,500 entries have been received for the Orkney Food and Drink Awards 2014, with event organisers urging anyone still to vote to get nominations in before the 31 August deadline.
The awards – organised by Orkney Food and Drink and sponsored by NorthLink Ferries – form part of a re-energised and expanded Orkney Food Festival, which has been running over the summer months. Award winners will be announced at a special gala event in the Pickaquoy Centre, Kirkwall, on 4 October.
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.
“The response to the awards so far has been absolutely brilliant,” said Edgar Balfour, development manager for Orkney food, drink and crafts. “Since voting began back in April we’ve received well over 1,500 entries across all the categories, with nominations coming from within and outwith Orkney. From the outset our aim has been to make this an event that not only benefits individual food and drink businesses in Orkney, but also highlights the huge range and quality of the sector to a wider audience.”
He added: “Folk have really engaged with the idea and we’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to make a nomination for their favourite business. Now, as we approach the closing date, we’d like to urge anyone who might still be thinking about voting to get online, or fill in a form. All the votes will play a part in helping make our awards ceremony a fantastic night and form the benchmark for what we hope will be a biennial showcase for Orkney’s wonderful food and drink businesses.”
Anyone who would still like to vote can do so online at the Orkney Food and Drink website – www.orkneyfoodanddrink.com. Nomination forms are also available in Orkney Food and Drink members’ outlets throughout the County and in this year’s edition of tourist magazine The Islander.
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.
Details of October’s awards ceremony will be released next month.