Despite our fond hopes that 2021 would bring the opportunity for a fresh start with new Covid-19 vaccines in place and the prospect of some sort of return to normality, it appears that 2021 has simply picked up where 2020 left off.

Indeed, with fresh lockdowns and additional challenges such as Brexit, 2021 looks set to be another challenging year for Scottish producers and retailers – but we also believe it is a year full of opportunity.

The latest restrictions, however, mean that Scottish food and drink producers big and small continue to face significant issues on a daily basis. With this in mind, we have listened to feedback from producers and retailers across Scotland and have agreed to postpone the entry deadline for the Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards 2021.

The new entry deadline is now Friday 26 February 2021.

Please note that the postponed entry deadline will not affect the judging process or scheduling, and the judging will commence as originally planned on Monday 22 March 2021, running for around two full weeks.

We hope that this gives many of Scotland’s outstanding food and drink producers more time to prepare their entries for the Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards.

Winning an award, or even simply being shortlisted, could be a critically important step in winning new business this year by securing listings in Scottish retail outlets, as well as generating vital PR opportunities in what promises to be another challenging year.

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The Scottish food and drink industry is worth around £14bn a year and is one of the most significant contributors to Scotland’s economy. The impact of coronavirus and the enormously challenging times we are living through have served only to highlight the vital importance of this industry

The industry accounts for one in five manufacturing jobs with more than 18,850 food and drink businesses operating in Scotland, employing more than 115,400 people.

The sector has been identified by the Scottish Government as a key growth sector in its Economic Strategy.

The Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards intend to recognise and reward the outstanding branded and own label food and drink products available for sale in Scottish retail outlets, from the smallest farm shop or deli through Scotland’s 5,000 convenience and symbol stores to the largest supermarkets and discounters.

As Scottish consumers become increasingly interested in the quality and provenance of their food and drink this represents a hugely exciting opportunity to shine a light on the fantastic quality of products available across the entire Scottish retailing channel.

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