A cake-themed celebration of our Capital city, a festival to inspire junior foodies and a gala which raises a glass to our national tipple, are just some of the mouth-watering events that will form the Year of Food and Drink, it was announced today (22 January).
Scotland’s outstanding natural larder will be showcased over the next 12 months at events the length and breadth of the country, including special events supported through a dedicated £265,000 fund aimed at raising awareness of the role food and drink plays in the country’s cultural identity and in shaping the nation’s economic success.
Funded events will be spread across the country and include existing or established events such as Borders Book Festival (11-14 June), the Orkney Folk Festival (21-24 May) and the Glasgow Science Festival (5-15 June) - with a greater food focus.
There will also be a number of new events designed to inspire and engage diverse audiences with Scottish produce, including the Children’s Food Festival in the Highlands (5-6 June), Cake Fest Edinburgh (21 June) at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Food Town Day (6 June) in Dumfries and Galloway.
Whisky Month will also return in May, with events like Mhor Whisky Festival (23-24 May) and Whisky Stramash (23-25 May) inviting visitors and locals to sample Scotland’s national drink as well as explore both the traditional and contemporary blend of stories, circumstances, provenance and science behind our vast array of marvelous malts.
Led by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, the Year of Food and Drink aims to increase and promote Scottish produce across the tourism sector and enhance Scotland’s global reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.
The Year of Food and Drink event fund is administered by the national tourism organisation’s event directorate, EventScotland. The Community Food Fund, which is managed by Think Local on behalf of the Scottish Government, has contributed £150K towards the overall £265,000 fund for 2015
With eating traditional dishes and local produce listed as one of the top activities undertaken by visitors to Scotland, promoting food and drink has the potential to provide significant growth for tourism. Recent figures revealed that Scotland’s food and drink tourism industry is worth an estimated £2.5 million per day to the economy.
Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Food Richard Lochhead said:
“The Year of Food and Drink is a brilliant opportunity to build on Homecoming 2014, and inspire the people of Scotland and our visitors to celebrate the exceptional food and drink we produce the length and breadth of our country. The programme unveiled today will offer a unique taste of Scotland, and am I am delighted that all funded events are being encouraged to increase their use of locally sourced produce by signing up to the Food Charter. This will help to enhance our reputation as a land of food and drink and achieve my vision of Scotland becoming a Good Food Nation.”
Malcolm Roughead, Chairman of VisitScotland, said:
“Scotland’s reputation for quality food and drink is increasing and the Year of Food and Drink is a chance not just for visitors to sample the best of our natural larder but for people in Scotland to learn more about what is on our doorstep.
“The events unveiled today are just a taste of what the Year of Food and Drink can offer visitors from far and wide. 2014 was all about welcoming the world, 2015 is an opportunity to build on that momentum and use strengths, like our world-famous food and drink, to take Scotland to the world.”
Ian Edwards, Head of Events and Exhibitions at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, who will host two funded events added:
“We are delighted to be part of the Year of Food and Drink with events throughout the year. Highlights include our Botanics Late adults-only evening The Still & the Hive in May and the Cake Fest Edinburgh in June. The Edible Gardening Project will also be encouraging people to grow their own food during the Spring and Harvest Festival events.”
All funded events will now go through a workshop organised by EventScotland to help develop their Scottish and local food and drink offering and enhance the visitor experience. A further series of special events for July to December 2015 supported through the dedicated £265,000 events fund will be revealed in the coming months.
For a full list of events visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland