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National award opens for inspirational young people in the food and drink industry

By David Porter

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Commercial insurer NFU Mutual has partnered with industry body Scotland Food and Drink to launch the third annual Inspirational Young Person Award.

The award aims to highlight not only the enormous contribution that young people make to Scotland’s food and drink businesses, but also the importance of the sector to the wider economy.

Entries and nominations are now open, seeking to uncover inspirational examples of talented 16- to 26-year-olds who own, work or study in the food and drink sector, and are driving the success of the industry in Scotland.

The first, second and third place winners will be announced during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight (September 4-19) and awarded cash prizes of £500, £300 and £200 respectively.

In recognition of the challenges the industry is currently facing, this year’s judging criteria will look to reward young people who have adapted their work in the industry to fit the changing environment, contributing to the resilience of Scotland’s food and drink sector during the ongoing crisis.

Mark McBrearty, NFU Mutual’s regional manager in Scotland and one of the judges for the award, said: “As I travel throughout Scotland representing NFU Mutual, I frequently see how integral young people are to Scotland’s food and drink sector.

"Whether it be primary production, driving change and innovation, designing modern graphics and packaging or working directly with customers, young people thoroughly deserve a recognised place in our country’s food and drink story.

"This award aims to celebrate that contribution and showcase Scotland’s young talent in the sector.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has created an ever-changing landscape for both the food and drink industry and beyond.

"This year’s award judging will consider how young people have reacted and adapted to overcome challenges to the industry in the last year.”

James Withers, chief executive at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “It’s great to be supporting NFU Mutual as they seek out and celebrate the inspiring young people who make Scotland’s food and drink industry so exciting.

"This last year has been incredibly challenging for the sector and the young people who work within it have also felt the impact.

"But, to recover and emerge from this pandemic stronger, having the energy, passion, talent and entrepreneurialism that our young people bring to the food and drink industry is essential.

“There are so many exceptional young people in the Scottish food and drink industry and it’s only right that we champion them. I would encourage employers, tutors, colleagues, customers or young people themselves to nominate someone they know who fits the criteria.”

How to Enter-

The NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award 2021 is open for entries until July 31.

Submit your entry or make a nomination at https://www.nfumutual.co.uk/campaigns/inspirational-young-person-award-2021/

Any individual between the ages of 16 and 26 who owns, works, or studies within a food and drink related business, organisation or institution can be nominated or enter on their own behalf.

Winners will be announced in September 2021.

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