High level talks were taking place behind the scenes at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh as The Grocer went to press on Thursday in a bid to persuade more Scottish producers to promote the new Farm Standard Mark. As reported in our last issue, despite 10 UK multiples adopting the mark, the Scotland the Brand organisation has signed up over 230 Scottish firms and the Scottish NFU. And, despite its endorsement from Tony Blair, Scotland the Brand chief executive George Russell does not see the English NFU's red and blue tractor symbol sitting next to its own. The Grocer understands that agriculture minister Nick Brown and NFU president Ben Gill were due to visit the Royal Highland Show on Friday, and the issues surrounding the symbols were likely to be on the agenda when they met Scotland's rural affairs minister Ross Finnie and Scottish food and farming leaders. The row did not deflect from one of the highlights of the show ­ the Food From Scotland Excellence Awards, sponsored by The Grocer. This year, an innovative range of fresh fish soups from Castle MacLellan Foods was named the outstanding product, beating off tough competition. One of the unique features of the Shetland seafood soups is a 25 day shelf life. The other category winners were Nairns Organic Oatcakes; Green Meadow Foods; Gordon and MacPhail; Sco-Fro; Simply Organic; Donald Russell; Raspberry Crumble Pot; and Walkers. Meanwhile Scotbeef chairman Ian Galloway was honoured with a lifetime achievement award by the Royal Highland Society. Scotland's rural affairs minister Ross Finnie said: "No-one has made a greater contribution to Scotland's meat trade." {{NEWS }}