Entries and nominations are being sought for the NFU Mutual and Scotland Food and Drink Inspirational Young Person Award 2019, which ran for the first time last year. The award recognises the incredible talent and dedication being shown by Scotland’s young people within the food and drink sector.

Last year the award was a great success and uncovered some incredible young talent including then-18-year-old Helen Stewart of Bavdo Distillery, who obtained grants and worked seven days a week in order to develop a micro gin distillery as part of the family farm in Perthshire to generate extra income. Helen used her winning prize money to promote a new product launch – Gin Postcards – a five-piece collection of glass hipflask-esque bottles with different images on them representing what makes Badvo unique. The launch was a huge success and the range sold out in two weeks.

This year’s Award hopes to bring out even more inspirational stories of young people aged between 16 and 26 who own, work or study within businesses in the food and drink sector, and are driving success within the Scottish food and drink industry.

The winners of the ‘NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award 2019’ will be announced during Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight in September 2019 as part of the industry’s annual celebrations. The award aims to highlight not only the enormous contribution that young people make to Scotland’s food and drink businesses, but also the importance of the sector to the wider economy.

Martin Malone, NFU Mutual Regional Manager in Scotland and Northern Ireland said: “We are delighted to be running the award again this year in partnership with Scotland Food & Drink, giving us the opportunity to recognise the fantastic young people within this sector here in Scotland.

“Although it was no easy task, I am very much looking forward to be judging again after the high standard of entries submitted last year. This gave me a real insight into the scale of diversity and innovation amongst young people in food and drink, ranging from those working within a big company and challenging ideas, those pushing family-owned businesses to a higher level of sustainability, those just starting out with an innovative idea or those building and running their own established business. The way these driven, young minds approach work is inspiring and a real honour to be part of.”

James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said: “It’s great to once again be supporting NFU Mutual as they seek out and celebrate the most inspiring young foodies in Scotland. Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight is a celebration not only of Scotland’s wonderful produce and outstanding producers but also of the people who are helping to secure an exciting future for the food and drink industry in Scotland and there’s many exceptional young people who are contributing to that.

“I would encourage employers, tutors, colleagues, customers or young people themselves to nominate any individual who they feel is worthy of this award.”

How to Enter

The NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award 2019 is open for entries until 31st July 2019, with winners announced in September. Entries, which should comprise the submission of up to 750 words, can be submitted online at www.fooddrinkfort.scot/enterawards/

Any individual between the ages of 16 and 26 who owns, works, or studies within a food and drink related business, organisation or institution can be nominated or enter on their own behalf. The winner will receive £500, with the second and third place finalists receiving £300 and £200 respectively.