Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead presented Paul Grant, chairman of Mackays, with the award at the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards yesterday (May 30). It was in recognition of his long-term contribution to the food and drink industry.
Lochhead said: “I’m delighted the panel has decided the first recipient of the award should be Paul Grant who has transformed Mackays from a company that made biscuit fillings into an internationally-renowned maker of quality jams and marmalades.
“His efforts make him a truly worthy winner and I look forward to seeing who else will join him on our foodies roll of honour in future years.”
Mackays was founded in 1938 and originally supplied the fillings for United Biscuit’s jam rings. Paul Grant, who had worked for United Biscuits for 27 years, took over the firm in 1995 and transformed it into a marmalade and preserves brand.
Two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise
The products are now stocked in over 50 countries with exports making up 40% of sales, earning the company two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.
The firm now employs 145 full-time staff – up from 27 in 1995.
Lochhead said: “The Scottish government, on behalf of the industry, has created an outstanding achievement award, which will be presented annually to someone who has gone beyond the call of duty in their promotion of Scotland’s food and drink.
“But behind the overall success story lies a small army of entrepreneurs, chefs and producers, some of whom will have seen their efforts recognised at these awards.”