Scotland Food & Drink: A Toast To 2015
Fiona Richmond has been actively promoting and supporting quality food and drink production for more than 12 years, working with industry leadership body Scotland Food & Drink since 2009 managing various projects across foodservice; sourcing at major events and last year the Year of Food and Drink campaign.
She previously worked with the Slow Food movement, including a period in the international headquarters in Italy, remains an active member of Slow Food Scotland and is the Scottish representative on the Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark standards committee.
Looking Back At The Year Of Food & Drink 2015
Scotland’s thriving food and drink sector is one to be proud of, worth a record-breaking £14.3bn, attracting increasing attention at home and abroad for its success, spirit of collaboration, innovation, quality of product and sheer talent.
Hot off the press, a report from Grant Thornton re-affirms the position of the Scottish food and drink sector as a leading one, noting the many private sector firms amongst the top performers, employers and revenue generators of Scotland’s economy. As the industry leadership organisation tasked with the sector’s growth and growing the country’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink, this is good news which comes at a time of reflection and consultation, looking ahead to 2030 and what needs to be done to build even greater success. On track to reach the industry’s 2017 turnover target, a strategy review process is underway to determine the sector’s next steps.
Continued Momentum in 2016
Having recently closed the doors on Scotland’s hugely successful Year of Food and Drink 2015, a year-long celebration of our produce and the people behind it, there is great deal of momentum to build upon for 2016 and beyond to ensure that our achievements endure in terms of our economy, reputation and culture.
The Year was a prime opportunity to remind ourselves, and tell others, about everything from regional specialities and traditional recipes to innovative products and exciting culinary experiences, reinforcing the importance of a thriving food and drink landscape – good for business, good for local communities and good for Scotland’s status as a country that takes quality food and drink seriously.
Pick Of The Bunch in 2015
In a jam-packed 12 months, with so many highlights, some standouts would have to include holding Scotland’s first ever food tourism summit in Oban to rave reviews; a raft of brilliant, diverse products taking the country by storm such as Beehive Brae honey beer; British Street Food Awards dessert category winner, The Crema Caravan; Scotland’s first indigenous tonic water by Aberdeenshire-based Summerhouse Drinks and a flourishing Scottish charcuterie scene, as recognised by The List’s Best of 2015 article; the launch of new food trails, from Ice Cream and Scottish Berries to East Coast seafood, and an enhanced Scottish Cheese map; more and more examples of food and drink companies working together and collectively promoting themselves, from craft beer to chocolate and rapeseed oil, capitalising on Scottish provenance and identity; an impressive 1200+ meetings between food and drink companies and influential UK and international buyers at Gleneagles Hotel, for the flagship Showcasing Scotland event; doubling the number of Taste Our Best businesses within 12 months, with now over 1,000 having achieved accreditation, marking their commitment to serving Scottish produce and more than 100 events signing up to Scotland’s Food Charter for Events, a legacy of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
And as the Scottish Government strives for our country to become a Good Food Nation, transforming our culture to one where we take pride in the pleasure our own food, we must continue to remember, and treasure, who makes what we eat, where they are from, how it is made, how we enjoy it, who serves it and what we can all do to ensure that this ambition is realised.
So whilst we do indeed toast the success of 2015, and all that it entailed, let’s look ahead and ensure that Scotland’s food and drink sector is truly the envy of the world.
For further information about Scotland Food & Drink, visit www.foodanddrink.scot
For more on the Year of Food and Drink legacy and highlights video click here