Celebrating Scotland Food & Drink 2015
2015 is the year of Scotland Food & Drink and this particular event was a celebration of Scotland’s food and drink industry, which has a turnover of £13.9 billion and has seen the biggest increase in turnover of any sector in Scotland. The Royal Bank of Scotland hosted the event at Gogarburn and brought together a number of different speakers within the industry who were able to shed light on the sector and also share their own personal stories.
The day started with Richard Lochhead the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affair’s, Food & Environmental; he gave an oversight of food and drink industry and also its successes in recent years. He highlighted the support available to food & drink businesses but also expressed that collaboration was key in order to ensure that this sector continues to grow both within Scotland and overseas. David Hastie whose business Nutrifiz, which is the first ever effervescent wheatgrass tablet, is in the early stages of its growth. David spoke about the challenges start-ups face, but also that support is available and confirmed Richard Lochhead’s point that collaboration within the industry has been extremely important to his success.
Further speakers included Robert Graham the Managing director of Grahams the Family Dairy; James Macsween the Joint Managing Director of Macsween Haggis and Jonathan Kemp the Commercial Director of AG Barr PLC. These companies are some of nation’s best known Food & Drink brands and all spoke of the need to constantly innovate and adapt to the changing nature of consumer habits and tastes. They also spoke about their brand and how this has been extremely important in the success of their products.
The final speaker Stephen Brown who is Head of Local Sourcing at Scotmid, again provided another perspective into how the retailers are having to change in order to ensure growth. Like the manufacturers they are having to adapt to the consumers, one example is that convenience has become key and this has led to a number of food-to-go outlets in selected Scotmid stores.
This event definitely celebrated Scotland’s Food & Drink Industry as it illustrated the growth of the sector by focusing on the successes of Scotland’s most recognisable Food & Drink businesses; as well as showcasing new and exciting start-ups emerging. It showed that the industry is doing extremely well and is constantly adapting to changes within the market, however what is also clear that there is huge potential for even further growth and there is a lot of support from the government, the public sector, private sector and also within the industry itself in order to achieve this.
For us here within Eden Scott Food & Drink division we have seen that investment in innovation has been priority for many of the companies we deal with; as a result this has reflected an increase in New Product Development roles within the industry.
We have also noticed that for non-technical positions there has been a significant increase in candidates interested in roles who are from outside the Food & Drink Sector, therefore showing the appeal of this growing and exciting sector within the job market.