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2nd December 2008

Mey Selections won the Best Retail Initiative award last week at the NEC in Birmingham. The award, given by Radio 4's food and farming programme is seen as the Oscar of the food and farming world and it acknowledges Mey Selections outstanding achievement with customers on a national scale.

The Mey Selections brand is a direct result of the North Highlands Initiative inspired by HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, which was launched in August 2005 to promote and develop the economy and to support the rural communities of the North Highlands.

Celebrity chefs, Jamie Oliver and Ainsley Harriott were at the awards ceremony and Dr John Strak, Managing Director of North Highland Products, was there to accept the award, in front of an audience of 250 people, from Jimmy Doherty, the star of the TV programme, Farming Heroes. The programme was recorded live for Radio 4 and will be broadcast on Friday 28th and Sunday 30th November. It will also be available at the BBC website in the Radio 4 play again section via the iPlayer.

John Strak said, "This is an amazing achievement. We were nominated by the listeners of Radio 4 and the judges are the experts of the food and farming world. After just three years of trading Mey Selections has reached an audience and customer base of millions through Sainsbury's and our on line web shop. This award is a testimony to the quality of the products we sell and the hard work and commitment of our farmers and fine food suppliers. Every day and every week of the year, we show commitment in the livestock and food and drink products we offer to our customers."

North Highland Products Limited is the company formed by Caithness farmers to select and source premium quality food and drink products from the most northerly area of the British Isles. All ingredients for Mey Selections products are sourced wherever possible from within a 100 mile radius of the Castle of Mey. Mey Selections gives a fair price to our traditional family farmers, fishermen and food producers.

The formation of North Highland Products and the creation of the Mey Selections brand are direct results of the North Highlands Initiative inspired by HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, which was launched in August 2005 to boost the economy of the region.

North Highland Products is the fastest growing food and drink Company in Scotland, last year scooping the prestigious Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Excellence Award.

In the 2008 Great Taste Awards five Mey Selections products scooped gold stars: Two products - the Mey Selections Honey and Oat Biscuits and the Mey Selections Rib of Prime Scottish beef - were awarded the coveted two-star gold awards and several of the Mey Selections honeys from Struan Apiaries - the heather and the Barrogill whisky blended honeys - were awarded one gold star each, as were the Mey Selections Toasted Highland Oatcakes from Reid's Bakery.

At the 2008 Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards, Mey Selections won two awards - Best Collaboration in a Supply Chain and Best Range of Honey, Conserves and Preserves. In recognition of its quality, Mey Selections Rib-eye Beef won the SuperMeat Award in the Fresh Meat Category in an event organised by the Meat Traders Journal in 2007. One of Mey Selections cheeses, Highland Blue, won a Gold Award in the World Cheese awards in 2006. In May 2007, Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Mey Selections Meatballs received the top award from The Grocer magazine in the meat and poultry category of The Grocer Own Label Excellence Awards 2007. In December 2006 the same product won the Best New Meat Product in the Meat Industry Awards in London.

The Mey Selections product range includes prize-winning beef, lamb, mutton, geese, cheese, eggs, oatcakes, honey and oat biscuits, shortbread, whisky, honey, preserves and Castle of Mey tweeds.


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