Champion for Scottish Produce Takes NFUS Ambassador Award

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NFU Scotland and NFU Mutual’s prestigious Ambassador Award has been presented to Marion McCormick for her outstanding role in promoting Scottish farm produce.

Established in 2009, the award was set up to recognise those individuals who, through their own efforts, have played an influential role in communicating the work, challenges and the value of Scottish food and farming to a wider audience.

From 1998 until recently, Marion worked for ALDI (Scotland), taking responsibility for growing and developing a comprehensive Scottish fresh meat range and for developing the strategy for marketing the Aldi brand in Scotland.

In less than a decade, Aldi’s support for Scottish farmers and crofters has soared, with more than 350 Scottish products in its Scottish stores and a 100 percent commitment to Scotch or Scottish on beef, lamb, pork, milk and eggs.  At the Highland Show in 2017, Marion was announced as a member of Scottish Government’s National Council of Rural Advisers and she is Scottish Government’s Agricultural ‘champion’ for public value.

Marion was announced as the winner of the NFUS/NFU Mutual Ambassador trophy at NFU Scotland’s annual dinner, attended by 450 guests and delegates, and held in Glasgow tonight (8 February). Fittingly, the starter at the feast was a mouth-watering mini-Scottish breakfast stack sourced from produce available in Aldi stores.

In presenting the award, NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said: “Under Marion’s guidance, Aldi has clearly demonstrated to all other retailers that 100 percent commitment to Scottish produce is not only achievable, but great for business.  

 “Scotland’s farmers and crofters are justifiably proud of the hard work they put in, day in day out, to produce the very best in food.  To see the results of that effort on shop shelves, clearly labelled as quality Scottish produce, is a great boost and a model all retailers could follow.

“Although no longer with Aldi, she has left a legacy that the retailer is committed to building on and the number of Scottish suppliers and lines will increase again in 2018.

“And it is fantastic for our industry that someone with such an appreciation of our food chain from farm gate to shop shelf is involved in Scottish Government’s think tank looking at the strategy for our sector as we move into uncertain times.”

Scotland Food and Drink Chairman Elect Dennis Overton, who spoke at event, said:  "We are delighted that Marion has received this award. We all work hard with our retailers to develop their Scottish supplier base, so it is really important that those who make impact in that regard get well-deserved recognition.

“Marion's role in ensuring ALDI stores meet the clear and growing consumer demand for more Scottish products on shelves was hugely significant. It played an important role in the ongoing growth in our industry. Her work was not just about supporting well-established Scottish suppliers, but her influence has meant that many producers were able to secure their first retail listing. Aldi has also forged a strong reputation for how it works in partnership with its Scottish suppliers and Marion should take a lot of credit for that too.”

Notes to Editors

  • The NFU Scotland/NFU Mutual Ambassador Award recognises those who have excelled at representing the nation’s agricultural and food industries.  Past winners have included Ken Rundle, Dan Buglass (posthumous), Lady Claire MacDonald, David Leggat, John Cameron, Ian Duncan Millar, Joe Watson (posthumous), Ewan Pate and Bobby and Anne Lennox.
  • Photographs of Marion McCormick collecting the Ambassador award at the Union’s annual dinner will be available from 10.00am on 9 February from media@nfus.org.uk or call 07788 927675. 
  • Aldi currently stocks a range of 350 Scottish products and is committed to increasing this total to 400 over the next two years. As part of this pledge, in December 2017, it announced its ‘Scottish Small Supplier Development Programme’, which aims to give small Scottish food and drink producers the opportunity to grow their enterprise. 
  • All of our core range fresh pork is 100% Scottish Specially Selected and SSPCA Assured; 100% of its core range lamb is Scotch; 100% of its core range beef is Scottish; All of its eggs are laid by hens in Scotland and for more than a decade, Aldi Scotland has stocked 100% Scottish fresh milk. 
  • Established in 2009, the award was set up to recognise those individuals who, through their own efforts, have played an influential role in communicating the work, challenges and the value of Scottish food and farming to a wider audience. 
  • Aldi plans to open a further seven stores in Scotland this year.
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