Ritchie’s of Rothesay in Food & Drink Excellence Awards final

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Isle of Bute-based Ritchie’s of Rothesay is celebrating after being named as a finalist for the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2019.

The annual awards recognises the highest quality produce as well as the leading individuals, suppliers and companies.

The awards received a record 320 entries across all categories, a 20 per cent increase from 2018, most notably in distilling which increased from 18 in 2018 to 41 this year.

Ritchie’s of Rothesay was named as a finalist in the seafood category for its cold oak smoked trout.

Lyndsay McFarlane, manager, said: “For a small island business it means the world that our smoked trout has been nominated for the Scottish Food and Drink Excellence Awards. At Ritchie’s we conserve and advocate traditional methods of Scottish food production whilst harnessing technology and embracing modern styles.

“Getting to the finals is a wonderful recognition of our methods, product and our team’s hard work and dedication and we look forward to attending the awards next month!”

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said: “Every year the Excellence Awards attracts an incredibly diverse range of entrants, all of which are of a very high quality.

“This year we’ve had a record number of entries and the standard has never been higher.

“While tasting each of the products entered into the awards sounds like a dream, in reality, selecting the very best of the best has been extremely difficult for our expert judging panel.

“Now celebrating its 20th year, the Awards will yet again be the premier night in one of Scotland’s most valuable and successful industries. Congratulations and good luck to all the finalists.”

The Excellence Awards is restructured for 2019 and focusses on the standout products driving value and consumer choice in the market in line with the overarching Ambition 2030 strategy to double the value of the industry.

Winners from all 19 categories will be announced on Thursday, May 23.