A NEW award for young people, rewarding talent and dedication within the food and drinks sector, has been launched; with entries and nominations open until July 31.

Insurer NFU Mutual has joined forces with Scotland Food and Drink to create the brand-new award, designed to bring out the inspirational stories of young people, aged between 16 and 26, who own, work or study within businesses in the food and drink sector, and are driving success within the Scottish food and drink industry.

Coinciding with the Year of Young People Celebrations, the winners will be announced during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight in September 2018.

NFU Mutual's Brian Lochhead said: “As I travel throughout Scotland, I frequently see how integral young people are to Scotland’s food and drink sector. Whether it be in primary production, utilising their skills to develop modern and appealing graphics and packaging or serving some of Scotland’s iconic products in our fantastic restaurants, young people thoroughly deserve a recognised place in our country’s food and drink story.”

SFD chief executive James Withers added: “With this being the Year of Young People, I was incredibly keen that we afforded young people even greater recognition by working with NFU Mutual to seek out the most inspiring young foodies in Scotland.

“I very much encourage employers, tutors, colleagues, customers or young people themselves to nominate any individual who is worthy of recognition for the way in which they contribute to Scotland’s worldwide reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.”