MacRoberts was delighted to continue its involvement with the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards (HIFAD) this year, with the 2022 ceremony taking place at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness on Friday 28 October.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, celebrating the best food and drink from the region, which always punches well above its weight when it comes to innovation, sustainability and quality of food and drink produce. Returning after a two-year hiatus, the superb quality of entrants and finalists demonstrated that the Scottish food and drink sector is extremely resilient in addressing the challenges posed by both Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the last 10 years, food and drink exports from Scotland have more than doubled, with the food and drink industry being Scotland’s biggest employer. Furthermore, sales of Scottish brands in the UK have risen by over 40%, and the industry is now worth in excess of £15 billion.

This year, MacRoberts sponsored the Supply Chain Business Award, which was awarded to Williamson Foodservice. This award was new for 2022 and open to any business operating in any part of the Highlands and Islands food and drink supply chain, including those in food and drink preparation, processing, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, wholesaling and retailing. The supply chain is an integral part of any successful sector, and MacRoberts was delighted to sponsor this new award to acknowledge those who play an absolutely vital role in supporting the food and drink industry to flourish.

We were delighted to be able to celebrate with all the winners and finalists on the night.

Among the winners, we were delighted to host and celebrate with Bakkafrost Scotland and Windswept Brewing Company Ltd.

The Windswept Brewing Company picked up an award in the Best Drink – Best Brew category for the Windswept Brewing Barrel Aged Range. Nigel Tiddy, Managing Director, commented:

The Highland and Islands Food and Drink Awards are a great celebration of the best the Highlands have to offer and we are delighted to be winners in the Best Brewed category.   We are very proud of our cask aged range of beers and it is a real boost to gain recognition for the hard work and dedication of everyone in the brewery.  As always, it was fantastic event enjoyed with some excellent company.”

Windswept Brewery started in autumn 2012 in Lossiemouth, taking the market by storm and winning their first award in 2013 awards from rateBeer – Best New Brewer in Scotland, closely followed by two SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) Regional Gold Medals for APA and WOLF. The company has gone from strength to strength, opening the Windswept Tap Room in June 2018, navigating the pandemic and even appearing on James Martin’s Saturday Morning TV in 2021.

As a double award winner, Bakkafrost Scotland Ltd picked up two awards on the night – the Sustainability Award and Primary Producer Award.

Su Cox, Communications and New Business Development Director, commented: 

To receive not one but two Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards is a testament to our transformational sustainability strategy and commitment to local provenance and quality. These recent wins continue our run of award successes and is down to the terrific work from everybody involved in the business to ensure our Scottish salmon reach the highest possible standards within the industry and for our customers.

Bakkafrost Scotland aims to be the leading most sustainable producer of salmon in Scotland. Integral to this is their five-year sustainability growth plan, which includes investment into technological solutions, such as recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology and using local products and services.

Huge congratulations to all of the winners and shortlisted firms on the night! You can view the full list of award winners here.