Companies taking the best of British food and drink to the global market were in the spotlight this week, as Food from Britain dished out its coveted Export Awards for 2006 sponsored by The Grocer and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Competition was fierce, with excellence from all parts of the industry and Britain, but one company shone brightest, picking up four awards in total - including the top prize.

Duns-based Farne Salmon & Trout was named Food and Drink Exporter of the Year for its "focused" approach to exporting.

The star prize was presented to the company by David Manson of RBS, who praised Farne for its commitment to its international business.

"It has excelled at all stages of the export process - in the planning, execution and marketing support, adopting a focused approach across the branded retail and private label areas," he said. The company, which is one of the biggest smoked salmon producers in Europe, has retail customers in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland.

"It is a company that has developed a true export culture across all levels of its business," said Manson.

This year, Farne has boosted its export sales by almost half year-on-year, and export activity now represents 38% of its overall business.

The company scooped a further hat-trick of awards including Frozen or Chilled Exporter of the Year, Private Label Exporter of the Year and Scottish Exporter of the Year.

Other national prizes went to Evron Foods, which picked up the Northern Ireland Exporter of the Year award for its foodservice and private label business in the Republic of Ireland, Spain and Sweden.

Radnor Hills Water won the Welsh Exporter of the Year title, and was praised for spotting gaps in the market in the Netherlands and Belgium that helped it build exports to 11% of total turnover.