Shire food businesses recognised

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Eight Scottish start-ups and family businesses have made the list of the UK’s 50 most promising food and drink entrepreneurs including two Aberdeenshire firms.

Mackies of Inverurie and Castleton Farm shop of Laurencekirk have been recognised as Food Stars in a new government initiative.

The 50 Food Stars, carefully selected from hundreds of award-winning businesses, range from Uig Lodge salmon smoked in the Outer Hebrides to gourmet truffles and spiced pralines from the Highland Chocolatier.

The revival of UK food and drink has seen a new generation of entrepreneurs emerge in Scotland, whose innovative ideas and can-do attitude are creating jobs in local communities and contributing to the record £103 billion generated by the UK food chain last year.

Leading figures in retail and food—including Justin King, former CEO of Sainsbury’s, and Dame Fiona Kendrick, CEO of Nestle UK and Ireland—will launch the Food Stars scheme to help the winners grow their businesses and get more of their produce on supermarket shelves and dinner tables in the UK and across the world.

The first initiative of its kind, Food Stars is part of a wider government drive to inspire entrepreneurial activity across the UK as part of our long-term economic plan.

Ahead of the launch of the Food Stars network, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

“The UK has always been a place where sparky entrepreneurs come up with great innovations in food and drink, people with the ambition to grow and take on the world, and Scotland is no exception.

“Now is the time to celebrate that success, which is helping to grow our economy - that is why we’ve created Food Stars to recognise the bright innovators of today and support them to become the major players of tomorrow.

“From crisps to kippers, Scottish Food Stars truly represent the best of British and demonstrate the creativity and determination in this country. Our Food Stars show if you want to see a vision for Britain’s bright economic future, look no further than the food and drink industry.”

Food and farming remains the biggest manufacturing sector in Britain, employing 1 in 8 people. In 2013 entrepreneurs set up 30,000 new food and drink businesses generating thousands of jobs.