Recognising young inspiration in food and drink

The 2019 award winner, Gus Forbes of Forbes Farm Fresh

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An awards scheme aims to celebrate the contribution of young people to Scotland’s vital food and drink businesses.

Commercial insurer NFU Mutual has partnered with industry body Scotland Food and Drink to launch the third annual Inspirational Young Person Award.

Entries and nominations are now open for talented 16 to 26-year-olds who own, work or study in the food and drink sector, and are driving the success of the industry in Scotland.

The first, second and third place winners will be announced during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight in September and cash prizes of £500, £300 and £200 are up for grabs.

In recognition of current industry challenges, this year’s criteria will reward young people who have adapted their work to fit the changing environment, contributing to the resilience of Scotland’s food and drink sector during the ongoing crisis.

NFU Mutual regional manager in Scotland Mark McBrearty – also a judge for the award – said: ‘Whether it be primary production, driving change and innovation, designing modern graphics and packaging or working directly with customers, young people thoroughly deserve a recognised place in our country’s food and drink story.

‘This award aims to celebrate that contribution and showcase Scotland’s young talent in the sector.

‘The coronavirus pandemic has created an ever-changing landscape for both the food and drink industry and beyond. This year’s award judging will consider how young people have reacted and adapted to overcome challenges to the industry in the last year.’

James Withers, chief executive at Scotland Food and Drink, said: ‘It’s great to be supporting NFU Mutual as it seeks out and celebrates the inspiring young people who make Scotland’s food and drink industry so exciting.

‘This last year has been incredibly challenging for the sector and the young people who work within it have also felt the impact. But, to recover and emerge from this pandemic stronger, having the energy, passion, talent and entrepreneurialism that our young people bring to the food and drink industry is essential.

‘There are so many exceptional young people in the Scottish food and drink industry and it’s only right that we champion them. I would encourage employers, tutors, colleagues, customers or young people themselves to nominate someone they know who fits the criteria.’

Entries for the Inspirational Young Person Award 2021 close on July 31. Visit www.nfumutual.co.uk/campaigns/inspirational-young-person-award-2021 to make a nomination or submit your entry.