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Award launches for young food and drink stars

Timur Jay Ünal (head chef at Brodick Bar)

TALENTED young people working in the food and drink sector are being encouraged to enter the fourth annual ‘Inspirational Young Person Award’, launched by commercial insurer NFU Mutual in partnership with industry body Scotland Food & Drink. 

The award seeks to uncover inspirational examples of talented people aged 16 to 26 who own, work, or study in the food and drink sector and are driving success in their field. The award will highlight the innovation young people bring to Scotland’s food and drink businesses, as well as the important contribution they make to the sector. 

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Entries and nominations are now open. The first, second and third place winners will be announced during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight (2-16th September) and awarded cash prizes of £500, £300 and £200 respectively. 

In recognition of the challenges the industry has faced during the pandemic, this year’s judging criteria will look to reward young people who have adapted their work in the industry to fit the ever-changing environment, contributing to the resilience of Scotland’s food and drink sector in the face of ongoing challenges. 

Timur Jay Ünal, head chef at Brodick Bar and last year’s first place winner, said: “NFU Mutual’s Inspirational Young Person Award was a fantastic recognition to receive. Hospitality during Coronavirus has been almost impossible, but we have always strived to keep our high standards and winning this award was a boost not only for me but my family and the business.”

Mark McBrearty, NFU Mutual’s Regional Manager in Scotland and one of the judges for the award, said: “The importance of young people to Scotland’s food and drink sector cannot be overstated. Last year’s entries illustrated just how wide a contribution they make, and how valuable their drive and innovation are to business success. We saw flare in primary production, excellence in graphic and packaging design and exceptional examples of customer-facing services. This award aims to celebrate this vital contribution, showcasing Scotland’s young food and drink talent and giving them some of the recognition they so thoroughly deserve.”  

“The impacts of the pandemic continue to influence how Scotland’s food and drink sector does business, and this year’s judging will consider how young people have reacted and adapted to overcome challenges to the industry during the pandemic.”

James Withers, Chief Executive at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “Having talented and driven young people working and studying in the food and drink sector is absolutely crucial to our long-term success. We are delighted to be able to help acknowledge the inspiring young talent who own, work and study in food and drink with this award.”

“As our industry continues to face challenges it is important that we recognise those who have adapted to the world around them and shown resilience in the way they have worked through these times.”

How to Enter

The NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award 2022 is open for entries from today (29th March 2022 until 21st July 2022). Submit your entry or make a nomination here. 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. The winner will receive £500, with the second and third place finalists receiving £300 and £200 respectively. Winners will be announced in September 2022.

For more information on the range of NFU Mutual insurance services, visit:

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