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In good taste: Scottish food and drink 'Oscars' launched

In what promises to be the food-lovers' event of the year, the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2014 were given a special launch today with a giant chocolate sculpture created by Iain Burnett, the Highland Chocolatier.

Recognising excellence across the food and drink industry in Scotland, the awards will be the biggest yet and will take place in their largest ever venue, the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.  

Known as the Scottish food and drink industry's 'Oscars',  more than 500 guests  will attend the glamorous ceremony on 22 May, with the event also being recently announced as a media partner of The Herald and HeraldScotland. 

Attendees will be treated to a drinks reception and sumptuous dinner, showcasing the very best of Scotland's larder.

Organised by Scotland Food & Drink in partnership with The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), the awards recognise excellence across 21 different categories, including ten tasted awards; Scottish Food & Drink Entrepreneur and new categories, Scottish Sourcing and Brand Success of the Year.

Iain Burnett, the Highland Chocolatier, who won the coveted Product of the Year award last year, said:

"There are so many exciting things going on in the Scottish food and drink world and I'm thrilled to be launching the 2014 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards. 

"I was delighted to have won last year and would urge other businesses to enter. 

"The award bought us real recognition and the kind of publicity you just can't buy". 

Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, James Withers, said:

"The Excellence Awards recognise the very best that Scotland's food and drink industry has to offer.

"From the big players to small artisan producers, the awards recognise our best products and businesses.

"2014 brings with it the opportunity for Scotland to shout about the phenomenal food and drink our country produces on an international stage and with this being a landmark year for Scotland, the awards are bigger than ever before. 

"Scotland has a longstanding reputation as a Land of Food and Drink and the awards provide a fantastic platform to celebrate the outstanding achievements across our industry. These achievements deserve recognition and I would encourage companies of all sizes to enter this year's awards."

Food and drink businesses from across Scotland have six weeks to enter online at www.scotlandfoodanddrink.org/events/excellence-awards

Entries for the awards close on 28 February.

Tickets for the event are on sale from Scotland Food & Drink now.

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