James Newitt, MD, Finalist in the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2017

Meatsnacks Group, Scotland Food and Drink excellence awards

We are celebrating after James Newitt, Managing Director being named a finalist in the Entrepreneur of the Year Category at the prestigious Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2017.

James was one of only three individuals shortlisted for the award, out of a record number of 272 entries across all 22 categories.

The winners will be announced on Thursday 18th May at the Award ceremony and dinner held in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC).

James Newitt is the Managing Director of the Meatsnacks Group, the UK and Europe’s largest manufacturer of jerky and biltong. Along with his business partners, he has been instrumental in developing the ambient meat snack category across the UK with an impressive manufacturers market share of 78%.

In striving to further develop the protein category, the company have created a salmon jerky, to be produced in the groups recently opened and dedicated facility in Grantown on Spey.  James is a fitting finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year 2017.

James Newitt, Managing Director of Meatsnacks Group said: ‘I am delighted to have been announced as a finalist in this year’s Scotland Food and Drink Excellence awards.  Having just opened a new facility in Grantown on Spey for making salmon jerky, we are excited about bringing this product to market in 2017. Plus, our facility in Forres is also being expanded this month with an additional oven to meet increasing capacity for the supply of jerky.’

The Meatsnacks Group was formed in 2015 with the merger of Cruga Ltd and The Jerky Group.  The Jerky Group was founded in 2000, and its brands include Wild West Jerky, the UK’s No.1 selling beef jerky and Europe’s longest established. The Jerky Group’s production facility has been in Forres, since 2012.

Since the business began in 2000, we always had the desire to manufacture our own beef jerky in the UK, using domestic beef with a British and Irish provenance, and to remove unnecessary preservatives and additives, including added MSG. So, in 2012, we invested in our own jerky facility, supported by the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and we began manufacturing Wild West Beef Jerky and Texas Joe’s Beef Jerky and other own label brands in March of 2013.  We also now produce own label jerky for Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Lidl.

Organised by Scotland Food & Drink and in partnership with The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), the awards received sponsorship from a range of influential businesses including Asda (headline sponsor), CalMac, Clydesdale Bank, Connect Local, Diageo , DR Newitt, FDF Scotland, Heriot Watt University, Invest in Perth , Johnston Carmichael, Kimberley Watson Packaging, Lux, Maclay Murray & Spens, Michael Page, New Town Partnership, Palletforce, Polaris, Quality Meat Scotland , RHASS, SAOS, Scottish Bakers , Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland, Sodexo , SRUC, The Grocer, The Rowett Institute , The Scotsman, Zero Waste Scotland.

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