The awards recognise Scotland’s top exporting companies and serve as an important platform for internationally operating businesses to promote their brand, generate publicity and attract potential investors.
The Highlands and Islands’ representation has been welcomed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Martin Johnson, head of international trade and investment at HIE, said: “We are delighted to see so many high quality finalists from our region which reflects the growth of our export industry and highlights the strengths of our region.
“We are pleased to have worked with all of the finalists and are supporting them to enter new markets, develop skills, knowledge and confidence to grow their companies overseas. We wish them all the best at the awards that celebrate the entrepreneurial exporting achievements of Scotland’s top exporters.”
Keith Brewery is shortlisted in two categories - the high growth exporter of the year, and the micro start-up exporter of the year. The brewery, named after its hometown in Speyside uses natural ingredients to bring customers a great tasting and distinctive beer. After recently receiving over 3,000 direct sales enquiries about their Snake Venom product, following an online video which went viral, the team is accelerating its online and direct sales to meet this demand.
Keith Brewery’s director, Donald Smith, said: “We’re delighted to have been nominated for two Scottish Export Awards. The last 12 months have been incredible for Keith Brewery and the very recent social media success has resulted in a significant increase in enquiries so we are gearing up for another exciting year.”
Scottish Salmon farming company, Loch Duart, based in North-West Sutherland and the Hebrides, supplies premium fresh salmon primarily to the food service industry. It has been nominated in two categories – large exporter of the year and Scottish export team of the year. Last year Loch Duart won the Scottish export team of the year award.
MADE IN SCOTLAND - Collaborative Export Solutions is an innovative collaboration of several Scottish food and drink companies able to offer access to the best of Scotland’s larder, including products from the Highlands and Islands, delivered across the globe. It has been selected to be shortlisted in the export team of the year category.
TEFL ORG UK has been nominated for the e-commerce exporter of the year category. The company provides classroom and online training courses that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, helping people to qualify to teach English. As an SQA approved centre, TEFL employs a team of 17 experienced professionals with over 30 years of experience in teaching English and teacher training at its Inverness base.
Wester Ross Fisheries is Scotland’s oldest independent, owner-operated salmon farm which operates from Ullapool and Dingwall has been nominated for the small exporter of the year category.
Paul Lewis, managing director of Scottish Enterprise International Operations, added: “Congratulations to all the shortlisted companies. It’s great to see so many high calibre companies enter the awards again this year. Scotland’s export potential is huge and that’s why we want to help as many companies as possible to reap the benefits of exporting and drive their business growth.”
Alison McGregor, CEO of HSBC Scotland, said: “This record number of nominations reflects the flourishing exporting landscape in Scotland, where we are seeing businesses of all sizes benefitting from the opportunities of international trade. We look forward to celebrating these nominations in what is going to be a fantastic evening.”
The awards are supported by Scottish Enterprise, HSBC Scotland and BQ magazine. Winners will be announced on the night.