Enterprise Minister, Fergus Ewing MSP, was delighted to hand out the Scottish Countryside Alliance Awards at Holyrood on 8th February 2012. The winners were as follows:
SCA BEST LOCAL FOOD AWARD
- Cairn O’Mohr Fruit Wines, Errol, Perthshire = WINNER
- A Taste of Galloway, Thornhill, Dumfriesshire = HIGHLY COMMENDED
- The Store, Ellon, Aberdeenshire. = HIGHLY COMMENDED
SCA BEST VILLAGE SHOP / POST OFFICE AWARD
- Kirkmichael Village Shop, Kirkmichael, Perthshire = WINNER
- Ardfern Village Store, Lochgilphead, Argyll = FINALIST
- Cockburnspath Post Office, Co’path, Berwickshire = FINALIST
SCA BEST BUTCHER AWARD
- Charles Macleod Ltd, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis = WINNER
- George Bower Butcher, Edinburgh = FINALIST
SCA BEST RURAL ENTERPRISE AWARD
- Cairnie Fruit Farm, Cupar, Fife = WINNER
- Leadburn Manor, Leadburn, Midlothian = FINALIST
- Spencerfield Spirit, Inverkeithing, Fife = FINALIST
Winners of the SCA Awards will now go on to represent Scotland against businesses from England Wales and Ireland at the Countryside Alliance Awards competition in the House of Lords in March.
SCOTLAND’S BEST LOCAL FOOD? – FRUIT WINE!
Cairn O’ Mohr, the Tayside based winery has scooped a prestigious “Rural Oscar” for its range of Scottish wines made from locally grown fruits. The award, SCA Best Local Food Award, was presented to Cairn O’ Mohr by the Enterprise Minister, Fergus Ewing MSP, at a special ceremony in the Scottish Parliament last night (Wednesday 8th April).
Scottish Countryside Alliance (SCA) Awards, dubbed the “Rural Oscars” were presented, by the Enterprise Minister, across a range of categories to rural business and enterprises nominated by their customers and local communities.
Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing said:
"The Scottish Government is working with rural communities to build a prosperous, sustainable future for Scotland. We are doing all we can to promote our food and drink across the world and we are working with small businesses to offer the most supportive business environment possible.
"People in rural areas are more economically active than in the rest of Scotland. With a higher proportion of self employment and proportions of family owned businesses the entrepreneurial spirit is there for all to see.
"The importance of successful businesses in rural areas cannot be underestimated. The benefits spread across communities helping them become more resilient and confident to face future challenges and to take up new opportunities as they emerge. Congratulations to all of tonight's winners!"
Another foodie business, this time a renowned Butcher, was recognised at the SCA Awards. Charles Macleod Ltd from Stornoway are the producers of the world famous “Stornoway Black Pudding”. Their efforts to put Stornoway on the global food lovers map, insisting on using only the best meat and also showing exemplary customer service resulted in Charles Macleod Ltd being crowned as SCA Best Butcher.
Kirkmichael Village Shop, was awarded the SCA Best Village Shop / Post Office Award. The judges praised the villagers of Kirkmichael for coming together to form a community enterprise to run their shop and petrol pump and keep these vital services in their remote Highland Perthshire community.
Cairnie Fruit Farm from Cupar in Fife won the SCA Best Rural Enterprise Award for their ongoing diversification into new and exciting visitor attractions designed to bring people to their rural area and help the farm to create and maintain employment.
Ross Montague, Director of the SCA, who announced the winners last night commented, “As always we were delighted by the high standards of nominations made by members of the public, local councillors and community councils from all over Scotland. The SCA Local Food Award was particularly well supported but this year we decided that a drinks business, Cairn O’ Mohr Fruit Wines is head and shoulders above the rest. Their use of local seasonal fruits to make delicious wines in the Scottish countryside is really innovative.”
“It is also great to be able to give recognition to the makers of the Stornoway Black Pudding, the infamous Cairnie Maize Maze and to the scattered local community around Kirkmichael for their efforts in ensuring their vital local services are not lost.”
The SCA Award winners were picked following nominations by the public and visits from the SCA Awards judges. The judges, who each have a distinct rural pedigree – Julian Paice representing Scottish Enterprise, Norette Ferns from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and Richard Bath Editor of the Scottish Field magazine – had a particularly tough time selecting the winner of the SCA Best Local Food Award and it was therefore decided to also award Highly Commended certificates to the other two finalists in this category – The Store from Ellon in Aberdeenshire and A Taste of Galloway from Dumfriesshire.