THE Food and Drink Federation has extended the deadline for award nominations to next week.

Business in the food and drink industry now have until next Thursday, March 24, to prepare submissions.

The Food and Drink Federation is particularly keen to receive entries from small food and drink and artisan producers for its Regional Growth Business Awards, which were launched last year to recognise thriving, smaller businesses across the UK.

The awards showcase industry excellence in the fields of innovation, competitiveness, health and sustainability within 15 categories, including new category Product Reformulation. The awards are free to enter and submissions can also be made online, with all entries judged by a panel of industry experts.

Winners will be revealed at a ceremony at The Brewery in London in September.

The categories are Apprentice of the Year, Community Champion, Community Partner, Education Initiative, Environmental Leadership, Exporter of the Year, Food and Drink Scientist of the Year, Food and Drink Engineer of the Year, Good Employer, Regional Growth Business Awards, Health and Wellbeing Champion, Innovation, Product Reformulation, and Rising Star.

Steve Barnes, commercial and membership director of the Food and Drink Federation, said: “The awards celebrate the achievements of UK food and drink businesses and provide a platform for manufacturers, retailers and food service operators to receive the well-earned recognition they deserve from their industry peers.

“We look forward to bringing together businesses, government, trade bodies and the media to recognise and celebrate the industry’s leading stars and the positive contribution food and drink businesses make to the UK’s economy.”