Scottish Rural Employer Award 2017
Walkers Shortbread, bakers of The World’s Finest Shortbread, is celebrating being crowned ‘Scottish Rural Employer’ at the third annual Scottish Rural Awards ceremony and gala dinner held at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on Thursday 16th March 2017.
Sponsored by the University of Stirling Management School, the ‘Rural Employer Award’ champions a winning business which reflects its rural values by fostering a sense of belonging and community through the implementation of communication processes to achieve sustained commercial and competitive success as well as high levels of customer satisfaction.
Walkers Shortbread was assessed alongside nine businesses by an expert judging panel against a rigorous multi-stage process marked against criteria including: brand values and development, product innovation, productivity, expanded supply chain, environmental best practices, market differentiation and engagement and contribution to the local community.
Having grown its workforce from under 20 to over 1,400 staff (1,700 in peak times), Walkers Shortbread is now the largest Scottish exporter of branded food, with over 600 jobs created in export sales. Work life balance for employees is a principle which is still maintained by Walkers Shortbread today alongside the company’s active involvement with local events and associations to support the local community.
Over the years, Walkers Shortbread has celebrated its many quality awards for shortbread and hold a Royal Warrant for the supply of oatcakes to Her Majesty The Queen - a testament to the brand’s unparalleled provenance resulting from honesty and integrity, using traditional recipes and baking methods.
Jim Walker, Joint Managing Director of Walkers Shortbread, comments:
“At Walkers Shortbread, we have always been proud of our Scottish heritage. Coupling this with the people at the core of our business has been vital to our company’s success. We can honestly say we believe we have the finest workforce in the world and value their honesty, loyalty and hard work.
It is an honour for the Scottish Rural Awards to support our continued aim to provide as much sustainable employment as possible to our local community. Together we all work towards our common goal of delivering the highest possible quality of product in as ethical a way as possible; a value which has been central to Walkers Shortbread ever since it was founded by our Grandfather Joseph in 1898.”
Now in its third year, The Scottish Rural Awards, partnered by Scottish Field magazine and the Scottish Countryside Alliance, are the ultimate benchmark of excellence in rural Scotland. Celebrating the true industry, innovation, dedication and community spirit of the businesses, organisations and individuals living and working the Scottish countryside.
With a set of 12 categories championing the rural businesses and community heroes of Scotland and judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and experts, the Scottish Rural Awards is a rigorous multi-stage process, including pre-scoring by the awards team, where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide a shortlist of finalists in each category.