AN award that honours the best Scottish food and drink businesses is open for 2018 entries.

Companies of any size can enter the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards’ 22 categories.

Entries must be made through the online application form before 5pm on Friday March 9.

With new trends and innovation responsible for the flourishing food and drink industry, the awards have introduced a new Innovation category.

To coincide with the Year of Young People 2018, the age limit for the ‘Young Talent’ category has been raised to 26 and under.

The awards are organised by Scotland Food & Drink and run in partnership with The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), the headline sponsor is Asda.

James Withers, CEO of Scotland Food and Drink which organises the awards, said: “We’re lucky here in Scotland to have such a diverse food and drink industry. As the industry grows, it’s important that we recognise and celebrate this change wherever possible.”