Celebrating the best Scottish rural employers

Scottish businesses based in rural areas which are looking to grow and look after their staff and communities are at the heart of the Scottish Rural Awards’ Rural Employer title.

The Rural Employer category is designed to acknowledge companies which actively seek to attract, invest in, retain and reward talent.

The winning business in this category will be one which reflects its rural values by fostering a true sense of belonging and community in the workplace.

The Rural Employer category welcomes entries from all companies which provide sustainable, proactive employment within their rural area, across all industries.

The judges will look for evidence of how communication processes are developed with the aim to involve and engage employees in the business strategic development and in living the business brand.

They will ask the following: Does the nominee provide large-scale rural employment? How does the nominee promote diligence and care, not only for its employees, but for the wider community? How has the nominee developed business strategy that promotes the company as an employer of choice? Would employment opportunities in the local area be significantly diminished if it were not for the presence of this company?


The 2018 Rural Employer title went to a firm that is known across Scotland.

Mackie’s of Scotland, based in Rothienorman, Aberdeenshire, won the category, with judges praising the food manufacturer’s family atmosphere and dedication to social responsibility in the workplace.

Gordon Castle Scotland, based in Fochabers, landed the runner-up spot, with the judging panel praising their diversification efforts and supportive attitude towards staff.

Impressively, Gordon Castle Scotland was also a finalist in three other categories: Artisan Drink, Rural Hospitality and Rural Tourism.

Loch Duart Salmon, a Scourie-based salmon farming enterprise, received a highly commended award.

Loch Duart started in 1999 with a team of just 31 and the company has grown as demand for their salmon has increased over the last two decades. Loch Duart now employs 115 people in the  Hebrides and Sutherland and produces around 5,200 tonnes of exceptionally high quality salmon per year. With a reputation for being progressive and independent, they attract and retain the best talent.

For more details, click HERE.