Press Release

Food & Drink Award Announces Inspirational Winner

By 13th September 2018 No Comments

NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award – Scotland’s newest food and drink industry award has today announced its winner, after a tough selection process.

Designed to recognise the incredible talent and dedication being shown by Scotland’s young people within the food and drink sector, the ‘NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award’ has, over recent weeks, selected the four most worthy entrants who are now being recognised for their dedication and contribution to the food and drink industry.

Having announced the second and third placed entries, in addition to a highly commended prize, earlier within Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, the judges are now delighted to announce that Helen Stewart from Badvo Distillery in Pitlochry has been chosen as the overall winner.

NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award

The NFU Mutual & Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award winner Helen Stewart pictured at her Badvo Distillery near Pitlochry with from left, Margaret Hebbourn NFU Mutual, Brian Lochhead NFU Mutual and Kathryn Mutch, Scotland Food & Drink.
for further info please contact Kat Mutch at Scotland Food & Drink on
Picture by Graeme Hart.
Copyright Perthshire Picture Agency
Tel: 01738 623350 Mobile: 07990 594431

At the age of just 18, Helen recognised that her family farm was in need of additional income in order to survive. With no money to invest, Helen obtained grants and worked seven days a week in order to develop a micro gin distillery.

Doing everything herself, from attended events to social media and distilling, Helen overcame a host of challenges and obstacles in order to build the distillery and was nicknamed the most successful ‘non-distiller’ as she was featured in magazines, books, and a documentary before she even launched!

Helen forages all of the botanicals she requires for the gin from the farm and now Badvo is growing its reputation among fans of Scottish gin.

Helen was presented with her certificate and £500 prize money at the Badvo Distillery by Kathryn Mutch, Marketing and Communications Manager at Scotland Food & Drink, Brian Lochhead, Sales Manager at NFU Mutual and Margaret Hebbourn, NFU Mutual Senior Agent for Perth.

Speaking of her win, Helen said:

This is the perfect end to our first month of production”.

Martin Malone, Regional Manager Northern Ireland and Scotland with NFU Mutual, said:

With this being the inaugural year of the NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award, I have been very impressed with the level of entries and am encouraged by the talent taking our food and drink sector forward. There are so many dedicated, hard-working and inspiring young people currently working in the food and drink industry and NFU Mutual is delighted to work closely with so many fantastic food and drink businesses across the sector.

“I congratulate Helen on both her win and her business achievements. She stood out by taking a vision for the existing business that needed to diversify into other revenue streams in an area where she had no knowledge, existing contacts and effectively build a brand, a product and premises to house the business. This included marketing heavily, product design, and distribution all from scratch and was a tremendous example of innovation, energy and tenacity”.

James Withers, Chief Executive at Scotland Food & Drink, said:

Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight takes place this year as part of the Year of Young People celebrations. It is therefore particularly pertinent that we have announced the winner of the NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award during the Fortnight. I am always keen to highlight not only the enormous contribution that young people make to Scotland’s food and drink businesses, but also the importance of the sector to the wider economy. For that reason, I believe that Helen makes an incredibly worthy winner and I believe that it was her dedication and determination which won over the judges.”

About the Award

The NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award 2018 entries comprised online submissions of up to 750 words from individuals between the ages of 16 and 26 who own, work, or study within a food and drink related business, organisation or institution. The winner receives £500, with the second and third place finalists receiving £300 and £200 respectively.

Runners up:

Second prize winner Lauren Leisk developed freshly prepared meal options for people who suffer from IBS and who have other dietary requirements. She set up Fodilicious in Livingston in September 2017 and is currently selling from her website and to food service clients.

Meanwhile, third placed Ellie Sinclair of The Veg Co. began growing tomatoes and chillies and utilising these into tasty jams, spice mixes and sauces. Ellie has expansion plans, including producing her ingredients on her farm solely through the use of renewable energy.

Owen Foster caught the eye of the judges who felt that they had to introduce a special recognition prize in award to reward his ingenuity. Using local produce and his Grandma’s recipes, Owen makes and sells jams, raising money for charity with every sale.

For further information please contact the press team:

Jade Devlin | 01789 455165 |


About NFU Mutual

NFU Mutual offers a wide range of products, including general insurance, life, pensions, and investments.

These products and services are delivered through the agency network of 300 offices, as well as through a direct sales and service centre.


About Scotland Food & Drink

Scotland Food & Drink, established in 2007, is a not-for-profit organisation that was created to guide food and drink companies of all sizes towards increased profitability.

Its mission is to grow the industry to a value of £30 billion by 2030 and its vision is to build Scotland’s international reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.

Scotland Food & Drink is a unique leadership organisation – supported by the Scottish Government – tasked with growing the value of Scotland’s food and drink sector, making it more profitable and delivering greater global success in a challenging and competitive environment.

About Badvo Distillery & Helen Stewart

Find out more at

Instagram @badvo_gin_distillery

Twitter @badvodistillery

Facebook – Badvo Distillery

Photo caption: Helen was presented her award by members of the NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink teams on the family farm. Left to right;

Helen Stewart, winner, NFU Mutual and Scotland Food & Drink Inspirational Young Person Award 2018

Margaret Hebbourn, NFU Mutual Perth Senior Agent

Brian Lochhead, NFU Mutual Sales Manager

Kathryn Mutch, Marketing and Communications Manager, Scotland Food & Drink


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