Scottish Rural Awards 2018 – Categories & Criteria

The 2018 Scottish Rural Awards comprise a diverse set of 13 categories*, each one developed highlight a key industry in rural Scotland. 

Nominations for the 2018 Scottish Rural Awards are NOW OPEN, and will close on Friday 20th October 2017. 

*Please note that the Rural Hero category is open for nominations from anyone other than the Rural Hero themselves. The Scottish Rural Lifetime Achievement Award is closed to public nominations. 

2018 CATEGORIES AND CRITERIA

ARTISAN FOOD

Overview:

Primarily aimed at producers and retailers, the Artisan Food category is specifically designed to recognise enterprise, innovation and dedication in rural Scotland’s food production industries.

There is no single definition of artisan food, but artisan producers should understand and respect the raw materials with which they work. They should have mastered the craft of their production process, and have a thorough understanding of what makes their manufacturing methods successful. The artisan food producer should also be mindful of the impact of their products on the environment.

Who can enter?

The Artisan Food category welcomes nominations from all food producers, food retailers and ingredient suppliers, as well as any other businesses with vested interests in the development of Scottish produce.

What the judges are looking for:

The judges will be looking for evidence of how each nominee applies the term ‘artisan’ to their ethos, values and products. Has the nominee worked to preserve or promote traditional recipes or ingredients? How has the nominee harnessed production methods to minimise wastage? What is the brand message of the product and how does this relate to rural Scotland? Has the nominee’s community been put on the map by the quality and diversity of the produce sold? Has the nominee challenged mass-production in favour of a more traditional approach?

 

ARTISAN DRINK

Overview:

The Artisan Drink category is designed to recognise the innovation and development of all beverages. As with the Artisan Food category, the term ‘artisan’ is characterised by craft, skill and development of the brand ethos; it is these values which will underpin the ultimate success of the company, not simply the number of units sold.

Who can enter?

The Artisan Drink category is open to entries from distilleries, breweries and other beverage producers throughout rural Scotland, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

What the judges are looking for:

The judges will be looking for evidence of how each nominee applies the term ‘artisan’ to their ethos, values and products. Has the nominee worked to preserve or promote traditional production or distilling methods? How has the nominee harnessed these methods to minimise wastage? What is the brand message of the product and how does this relate to rural Scotland? Has the nominee challenged mass-production in favour of a more traditional approach? Does the nominee show evidence of unique product development?

 

EDUCATION 

Overview:

Education is vital to a productive, progressive society. The Scottish Rural Awards is mindful of the many forms which education may take, and aims to champion these at every possible opportunity. This category’s reach is not limited to formal education; vocational learning is of particular interest to the Scottish Rural Awards judges.

Who can enter?

The Education category welcomes entries relating to all styles and levels of both formal and informal education: schools, colleges and universities; youth clubs or groups; and employers who place a strong emphasis on vocational training through apprenticeships or other similar schemes.

What the judges are looking for:

The judges are looking for evidence that nominees have helped to develop and preserve skills for future generations in rural Scotland. The judges will ask how each nominee has worked to provide opportunities and training for young people and adults alike. Has the nominee used education to drive forward real, positive social change?

 

CONSERVATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT – sponsored by Gillespie Macandrew

Overview:

The Scottish Rural Awards takes a realistic view of what conservation means, and what can be, and is being, achieved at present. Scotland’s diverse landscape is home to a multitude of resources, and it has never been more crucial to ensure that these are safeguarded in a sustainable manner for the future.

Who can enter?

This category is open to entries from all types of conservation businesses, including environmental conservation, animal conservation and marine conservation. Businesses whose primary concerns lie in the green energy, land mapping, ethical estate management, forestry or heritage preservation industries may also enter this category, as well as any other businesses which place a key emphasis on promoting environmental best practice.

What the judges are looking for:

Judges will be looking for evidence that nominees have a proactive approach to enhancing the landscape of rural Scotland by methods of sustainability, protection, rescue, introduction or reorganisation. How does the nominee strive to promote biodiversity? Does the nominee go above and beyond their line of duty to enhance the Scottish countryside for the benefit of all?

 

BUSINESS START UP

Overview:

This category seeks to identify innovation, application and inspiration from all new businesses which have been trading for less than 24 months prior to 20th October 2017.

Who can enter?

This category is open to all new businesses who have been trading in their current incorporation for less than two years. Although primarily aimed at businesses in their early stages, consideration in this category will also be given to existing businesses which have been recently restructured and relaunched with a clear change of use within the past 24 months.

What the judges are looking for:

Does the nominated business fill a gap in the local market? Has the nominee outlined evidence of strategic development? How has the nominee overcome difficulties in starting up their business?

 

BUSINESS DIVERSIFICATION – sponsored by Clarendon Planning and Development

Overview:

Key to thriving in a rural business is the ability to transform, re-focus or even change direction to keep up with the times and ahead of the competition. The Business Diversification category is specifically aimed at rural businesses which have altered their strategy and adapted to the pressures in their industry – not only to thrive, but to succeed, to the benefit of the wider community.

Who can enter?

This category is open to all rural businesses who have found success by diversifying, expanding or transforming their business model and/or products.

What the judges are looking for:

The judges will look for evidence that a business has changed its direction or primary focus to stay ahead of the competition. How has the nominee thought outside the box? How has the nominee dealt with pressures and hurdles in business?

 

RURAL TOURISM

Overview:

Tourism in rural Scotland is not solely about visitor numbers; communication and attraction are just as important. The Rural Tourism category seeks to identify the ways in which businesses in rural Scotland have utilised sustainable tourism in order to benefit their local areas and communities.

Who can enter?

The Rural Tourism category is open to entries from rural tourism initiatives, organisations and events, including – but not limited to – visitor centres and attractions, tourism boards, festivals and other events.

What the judges are looking for:

The judges will seek to identify business models which can be used as examples of best practice rural tourism. How do nominees work within their community, while still keeping their sights set on the tourism market? How has the nominee increased footfall in their rural area? How does the nominee promote ethical, sustainable tourism?

 

RURAL HOSPITALITY – sponsored by HWEnergy

Overview:

Scotland’s booming hospitality industry is continually growing and developing, with an abundance of high-quality accommodation, dining and leisure options. For 2018, the Rural Hospitality category has been separated from Rural Tourism, in acknowledgement of how these industries operate in tandem.

Who can enter?

The Rural Hospitality category is open to nominations from hotels, B&Bs, self-catering accommodations, restaurants, cafes, bars and any other rural businesses whose main business objective is to provide guest or customer services.

What the judges are looking for:

How does the nominee work within their community; how do they engage with their local resources and what value do they bring to their area in terms of local suppliers, employment, integration and positive development? 

 

RURAL EMPLOYER

Overview:

The Rural Employer category is designed to acknowledge companies which actively seek to attract, invest in, retain and reward talent. The winning business in this category will be one which reflects its rural values by fostering a true sense of belonging and community in the workplace.

Who can enter?

The Rural Employer category welcomes entries from all companies which provide sustainable, proactive employment within their rural area, across all industries.

What the judges are looking for:

The judges will look for evidence of how communication processes are developed with the aim to involve and engage employees in the business strategic development and in living the business brand. Does the nominee provide large-scale rural employment? How does the nominee promote diligence and care, not only for its employees, but for the wider community? How has the nominee developed business strategy that promotes the company as an employer of choice? Would employment opportunities in the local area be significantly diminished if it were not for the presence of this company?

 

RURAL ENTERPRISE AND INNOVATION – sponsored by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) 

Overview:

The Rural Enterprise and Innovation category is designed to recognise enterprise and entrepreneurship throughout rural Scotland, wherever it may lay.

Who can enter?

The Rural Enterprise and Innovation category is open to all individuals, small businesses and larger businesses operating in a rural environment. Nominees must have found success in developing an existing business or practice, successfully reinventing, reinterpreting or adapting an existing business or practice, or applying unique, innovative methods to an existing business or practice.

What the judges are looking for:

The judges will look for ways in which the nominee stands out from the crowd. Has the enterprise utilised innovative practices to save something that may otherwise have been lost, or saved something from disappearing from the rural map? Is the business proactive in its operations? How has the nominee used new technology to further their business? Would winning this award reward a truly special enterprise and tell a positive story about rural life?

 

AGRICULTURE – sponsored by Davidson & Robertson

Overview:

Open to all agricultural businesses, the Agriculture category aims to highlight the importance of farming and associated industries in rural Scotland. This category has the enhancement of Scotland’s rural resources at its core; protecting, managing and developing the land for the benefit of current and future generations.

Who can enter?

This category is open to all agribusinesses, including agrichemicals, breeding, crop production (farming and contract farming); distribution, farm machinery, processing and seed supply, as well as marketing and retail sales.

What the judges are looking for:

The judges will question the ways in which each nominee manages the wild environment. Are the nominee’s methods in agribusiness effective and considerate? How does the nominee develop and enhance Scotland’s rural resources?  

 

RURAL HERO – sponsored by Chiene & Tait

Overview:

The Rural Hero category aims to highlight rural Scotland’s unsung heroes and community champions. This individual will have worked for the greater benefit of others, putting others first and continually striving to make their local area a better place for everyone.

Who can enter?

Nominations may be made in this category by a friend, colleague, family member or anyone except the Rural Hero themselves.

What the judges are looking for:

The judging panel will ask: what makes this individual remarkable? What is the impact of this individual on others? Specifically, why should the term ‘hero’ be applied to this individual?

 

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – sponsored by Scotland’s Rural College

Overview:

Specifically awarded to an individual whose impact over time has enhanced the lives of others, without whose efforts a significant detriment or deficit would be effected. Lifetime Achievement does not mean the individual has completed their endeavours, but it does recognise that the individual has committed a significant proportion of their life to those endeavours.

Who can enter?

Please note that this category is closed to public nominations.

What the judges are looking for:

The judges are looking for sustained evidence of working to benefit rural Scotland over a significant number of years. The winning individual will have strived to benefit their community and local area wherever possible, achieving prominence and distinction for their work.