Food and drink businesses and brands are among those being urged to enter the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

Currently in their 50th year, the awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievement, and cover four categories - Innovation, International Trade, Sustainable Development and Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility).

According to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, almost 75% of past winners directly attribute an increase in international sales to winning a Queen’s Award, which allows winners to use the emblem for five years.

Successful candidates are also given an invite to attend a Buckingham Palace reception.

Submissions are required to cover the following:

Sustainable development: products, services or business practices (or any combination of those) that have improved commercial performance and benefited sustainability.

International trade: overseas sales performance and, particularly, export or international trade strategy, such as what you set out to achieve and what you delivered.

Promoting opportunity: social mobility programmes that help people from disadvantaged backgrounds into successful working lives.

Innovation: innovative products, services or business models such as a novel marketing strategy and the positive impact that innovation has had on customers, clients, commercial success or other companies and markets.

Companies have until 1 September 2017 to submit their entries and must employ at least two full-time employees or part-time equivalents