THE shortlist for a York accountancy firm’s first ever Food Entrepreneur Awards has been revealed as 24 businesses from across Yorkshire battle it out for a debut title.

The inaugural awards have been organised by Garbutt + Elliott in a bid to recognise the best among the county’s food and drink producers and retailers.

The award categories include innovation, growth, partnership working, branding, market resilience, exporting and of course, taste.

Nine winning companies will be crowned at an awards ceremony on March 7, at The Hospitium, in Museum Gardens.

Speaking about the shortlist, Garbutt + Elliott managing partner, Russell Turner, said: “Judging the entries was difficult because the calibre of both the entries and the businesses involved was extremely high.

“We were looking for businesses doing things in a different way and saw those who had bounced back from some incredible adversity, those who are ‘better together’ and those who are operating in a sustainable manner.

“It was tough creating a shortlist and there were some lively discussions, but thanks to the help of our judges and sponsors we are pleased to announce the shortlist.

“These businesses have all shown their ability to navigate the world of business and thrive in an entrepreneurial and notoriously competitive sector.

“We advise entrepreneurial food and drink businesses throughout Yorkshire and beyond and see daily how forward-thinking and innovative, and at the same time, supportive of each other the sector is. Good luck to all those who have been shortlisted and we look forward to revealing the winners next month.”

The Garbutt + Elliott Food Entrepreneurs Awards shortlist for 2018 is:

•Best Innovation: Eyes Brewing, KC Caviar, Northern Bloc, Sweet Revolution

• Growth Business of the Year: Masons Gin, York Coffee Emporium, North Brewing Co, Heck

• Best Partnership: Herb Fed Poultry + Herbs Unlimited, Harewood Estate Office, Staal Smokehouse

• Young Business of the Year: Bullion Chocolate, Spirit of Yorkshire, I am Doner, Wood Fire Dine

• Best Yorkshire Exporter: The London Deli Co, North Brewing Co

• Best Yorkshire Brand: Yorkshire Peas, Sloemotion, Lottie Shaw’s, North Bar Ltd + North Brewing Co

• Yorkshire Grit Resilience Award: Dalesman + Gordon Rhodes, Shepcote, Wold Top, Dyls.