Two Angus firms excel at rural awards

(L-R) Jim Wilson, SoilEssentials; Sandy Hay, Bank of Scotland (Agriculture category sponsor); Rod Armour, SoilEssentials; Graham Ralston, SoilEssentials; Robert Ramsay, SoilEssentials; Fred MacAulay, host. Pic: Angus Blackburn.
(L-R) Jim Wilson, SoilEssentials; Sandy Hay, Bank of Scotland (Agriculture category sponsor); Rod Armour, SoilEssentials; Graham Ralston, SoilEssentials; Robert Ramsay, SoilEssentials; Fred MacAulay, host. Pic: Angus Blackburn.

Two Angus businesses are celebrating following award wins at the 2017 Scottish Rural Awards.

Ogilvy Spirits, by Glamis, won the runner up award in the conservation and the environment category for their sustainable approach to potato farming and 100 per cent traceable vodka production, while precision farming specialists SoilEssentials Ltd, by Brechin, took home a highly commended in the agriculture category.

(L-R) Sheldon Cameron, representing Conservation and the Environment category sponsors the Scottish Countryside Alliance, presents the Runner Up award to Caroline Bruce-Jarron of Ogilvy Spirits, while host Fred MacAulay looks on. Pic: Angus Blackburn.

(L-R) Sheldon Cameron, representing Conservation and the Environment category sponsors the Scottish Countryside Alliance, presents the Runner Up award to Caroline Bruce-Jarron of Ogilvy Spirits, while host Fred MacAulay looks on. Pic: Angus Blackburn.

Arbikie Highland Estate Distillery, at Inverkeilor, by Arbroath, was also a finalist in the artisan drink category.

The Scottish Rural Awards are the ultimate benchmark of success in Scotland’s countryside, highlighting the enterprise, skill and innovation of those who live and work in rural areas.

The event, held at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh last week, is the culmination of a third year of partnership between Scottish Field and the Scottish Countryside Alliance to host the awards, in association with the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS).

The awards are backed by category sponsors including Aldi, the Bank of Scotland and Subaru UK.

Comedian Fred MacAulay took to the stage as compere for the evening, hosting more than 400 guests and presenting three awards in each of the 11 open categories – a highly commended, runner up and overall winner.

Nominations for the 2017 Scottish Rural Awards officially launched at the Scottish Parliament in September 2016, with over 200 entries received. Businesses were able to self-nominate, or be nominated by someone else – a friend, family member, customer or member of the public.

Finalists in each of the open categories, which encompass every aspect of rural life, from agriculture and food production, to conservation, education and tourism, were announced in December 2016.

Jamie Stewart, director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said: “Land-based businesses contribute over £2billion to the Scottish economy. These awards give Scotland a chance to recognise the resilience, innovation and contribution that rurally-based people and businesses make to its success.”