Between September 2 and 16, industry body Scotland Food & Drink will focus on its annual celebration of all things good about Scottish food.
The idea is simple: to shout about achievements, promote Scottish produce, and highlight the people who make, cook and sell it. The hope is to grow the value of the industry to £30 billion by 2030 and, as the organization’s toolkit states, “ignite a passion and curiosity for our food and drink industry that will thrive all year round.”
James Withers, the outgoing chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, stood down last week, and tweeted: “It’s been a privilege to play a small part in Scotland’s food & drink journey.”
It is now the turn of Iain Baxter – a former senior executive at Glenmorangie, Inver House and International Beverage – to take on the task, when he starts on October 31.
The sector has dealt with, and continues to deal with, massive challenges. Those who have survived the stresses of lockdowns and Brexit effects, now have to face staffing shortages, price rises, and a reduction of consumer spending, caused by the ongoing cost of living crisis.
Seek out companies that mirror your values
Baxter admits: “We will of course face domestic and global challenges; not least the economic and environmental headwinds, which cannot be underestimated.”
So, not an easy task.
However, I believe that if you can discover and learn more about the real people behind a food and drink business, you will relate to their journey and want to help them. It is that simple.
Money is tight for everyone but, if you are able to, you should support our country’s amazing small food businesses. Seek out companies that mirror your own values and, if their products are to your taste, support them with your custom. Otherwise, don’t be surprised if they disappear.
Today we launched our annual celebration of the sector, Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, which this year will celebrate Scotland’s #StoriestoSavour from across the country.#ScotFoodFort22 https://t.co/7OJkXYiomr pic.twitter.com/WJPqZACM7b
— scotfooddrink (@scotfooddrink) September 2, 2022
Scotland Food & Drink is the voice of the £15 billion industry, but it charges a membership fee of a minimum of £685 plus VAT per year. For many small businesses, the extra cost will be unaffordable. That’s where we, as consumers, can step in and make a real difference.
Spread the word on social media about your favorite food businesses and brands, using the official hashtags for this year’s Scotland Food & Drink campaign – #StoriestoSavour and #ScotFoodFort22. Show your appreciation for what those brands and the hardworking people behind them do.
After interviewing the owners of countless small food and drink companies, I know they are remarkable people with incredible stories who deserve our attention all year round.
Catriona Thomson is a freelance food and drink writer, who is passionate about telling the stories behind Scottish food and drink businesses
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