Scotland’s food and drink sector to go for gold

Plans to put Scotland’s food and drink sector ahead of the game were revealed on 1st August 2012, by Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead.

The Food and Drink 2014 Action Plan – announced ahead of events to promote Scottish Food and Drink at London 2012 - will help to ensure Scottish food and drink companies maximise their competitive advantage and capitalise on the economic opportunity current and future events offer. The plan aims to develop the capability and capacity of Scottish producers to ensure they are able to supply the events sector in Scotland and beyond and encourage deeper engagement with the foodservice operators and events sector to ensure event organisers and suppliers are aware of the opportunities.

Recent research by Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland estimates that in addition to the £24 million food and drink revenue expected from visitors to Scotland during the year of the Olympics, food and drink companies catering at events will see exponential growth in the next year - peaking at £33 million in 2014 when Scotland hosts the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Homecoming Scotland 2014.

The Food and Drink 2014 Action Plan is being created by Scotland Food & Drink in partnership with the Scottish Government, Scotland’s enterprise agencies, VisitScotland and their events directorate EventScotland, and is the start of an ambitious journey to secure maximium economic value for Scotland’s already burgeoning food and drink sector.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead said:

"Scotland produces a fantastic array of food and drink products and the key international events we are hosting over the next couple of years including Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup in 2014, provide an excellent and unprecedented opportunity to promote our prime, quality produce to a huge audience.

"The 2014 Action Plan will help ensure Scotland's food and drink industry capitalises on the substantial economic opportunity the events will offer through liaison with major food operators and suppliers. This end result will hopefully be that the cream of our spectacular produce is recognised and enjoyed by many."

Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, commented:

“Each year, Scotland hosts thousands of events including the world’s largest arts festival and some huge sporting occasions.

“These events present a significant economic opportunity and this new 2014 Action Plan aims to help Scotland’s food and drink sector maximise its culinary competitive advantage and create a lasting legacy from the Games and other major events to ensure that by 2015 Scotland is truly recognized as a land of outstanding food and drink.”

CEO of Scotland Food & Drink James Withers said:

"Scottish food and drink is making a name for itself all over the world. Our exports are rocketing and food and drink is playing greater role in our tourism offer at home.

"Interest in our produce in the last week alone from nations competing in the Olympics has been fantastic. But all eyes are now turning to Scotland in 2014. It may be the best chance in a generation to showcase our world class, natural larder and it is one we intend to make the most of."

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