The newly formed regional food group, Eat and Drink Dundee, has secured funding from Scotland Food & Drink to champion local produce in a bid to welcome more visitors to the area.
Eat and Drink Dundee was formed to encourage collaboration and sustainability in the local food economy.
Over the coming months the group aims to support food and drink businesses in the local area, delivering on strategic projects to raise the profile of the sector and work towards a recovery from Covid-19.
The group is receiving the funding from industry leadership body Scotland Food & Drink as part of an extension of the national £250k fund announced in September 2020 to support the ongoing development of Scotland’s regional food groups.
So far, the funding has benefited 18 groups across the country by building an active network of regional leaders who work in conjunction with local authorities to promote regional food and drink and tourism strategies.
Eat and Drink Dundee is the latest regional group to secure funding from Scotland Food & Drink to develop their plans to grow the sector.
Viv Collie, Co-ordinator of Eat and Drink Dundee, said: “Dundee has a rich history for producing outstanding food and drink, from the famous Dundee Marmalade and Cake to rum blending and bottling dating back to the 1800s, and its legendary association with ‘pehs’.
"Today Dundee has an increasing range and variety of eating establishments, bars, specialist retailers, food growers, distillers and brewers and is also home to some world-class food and hospitality research and education organisations.
“The funding allows us to hit the ground running and start delivering activities and developing new resources.
"By supporting Dundee’s fantastic food and drink businesses, we are increasing the resilience of the local economy and making the city a more attractive place to live in and visit.”
Regional food groups, like Eat and Drink Dundee, plan and deliver projects designed to increase consumption and supply of local produce; upskill food and drink businesses; host events; improve digital developments and e-commerce with local companies and, crucially, develop food and drink tourism.
Supporting regional food groups is a key pillar in Scotland Food & Drink’s UK Market Development ‘Home Advantage’ Strategy, which aims to achieve £17bn turnover from food and drink sales within the UK by 2030.
Fiona Richmond, Head of Regional Food at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “Regional food groups like Eat and Drink Dundee have a pivotal role to play in the successful growth and development of our country’s food, drink and food tourism sectors, especially in the recovery from Covid-19.
“With a combination of both long-established groups, those which are more recently formed, and some which are brand new, Scotland’s diverse mix of regional food groups all have energy, ambition and a commitment to championing their areas.
"Our aim is to build a strong network of groups and give them the recognition and backing they deserve.”
Further details about Scotland’s network of regional food groups can be found on their website.
Meanwhile, the South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA) has joined forces with Scotland Food & Drink to put food and drink producers from across the region in the spotlight to boost tourism and aid the region’s recovery from the global pandemic.
The strategic partnership will launch a series of collaborative initiatives highlighting the array of produce that can be sourced from the South of Scotland, such as fish and seafood from the coasts, craft drinks from distillers and brewers, beef, lamb and venison from the fields, cheese, milk, ice cream, butter, and more, all made locally by dedicated and passionate producers.
The South of Scotland Destination Alliance and Scotland Food & Drink are teaming up after recent research carried out by the SSDA which revealed that food and drink is a leading factor for holidaymakers when it comes to choosing a destination and is a significant area of interest for a key target market of affluent “metropolitan adventurers”.
The new collaboration is part of the SSDA’s long-term strategy to cement the South as a world-class holiday destination, with its combination of breathtaking scenery, outdoor activities, wildlife watching, relaxation and food and drink experiences.
The partnership will see some major joint marketing initiatives taking place highlighting local produce.
The first joint event will be a food and drink workshop at the SSDA’s inaugural annual conference which is being held in Dumfries on March 15.
The workshop will feature local producers and explore questions such as how and why to use more local food and drink within tourism businesses of all shapes and sizes.
The workshop will be hosted by Joe Hind, Scotland Food & Drink Business Development Manager - South of Scotland and feature talks from guest speakers Beth Webb the head chef and owner of the Plough Inn in Wigtown and Alastair Scoular from Five Kingdoms Brewery on the Isle of Whithorn. Producers from the Borders will also be in attendance.
Webb, who trained to be a chef at Dumfries and Galloway College, opened the Plough Inn in September last year.
The restaurant and wine bar celebrates the seasonal flavours of Galloway and champions local and sustainable produce.
Scoular will talk about his experience as a brewer and producer and the value to his business but also tourism more generally when offering a quality local food and drink experience to visitors.
In November, there will be large scale expo/showcase events in both the Borders and Dumfries & Galloway bringing together food and drink producers with tourism businesses.
Ross McAuley CEO of SSDA, said: “We know from our recent research that holidaymakers are actively seeking quality food and drink and interesting dining experiences as part of their break, and the South of Scotland has a wealth of options to offer them.
“Our partnership with Scotland Food & Drink will help highlight the growing range of natural produce found across Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders – from farm to fork.
"By placing food and drink firmly in the centre of holidaymakers’ minds, we are supporting the region’s post-pandemic recovery and building a stronger future.”
Joe Hind, Business Development Manager in the South of Scotland for Scotland Food & Drink said: “Our partnership with the South of Scotland Destination Alliance will raise the profile of the area’s amazing food and drink providers and producers, and forge new networks within the tourism and hospitality sectors.
"We will also work closely with South of Scotland Enterprise and other agencies to ensure there is true collaboration to provide what this region needs to expand their food and drink offer effectively.
“Some of the best food and drink in Scotland, if not the world, can be found across the fertile lands and clean waters of the South of Scotland.
"The area’s history and landscape are full of authentic food and drink made with care, dedication, time and skill and we believe locals and visitors alike deserve to enjoy the great, local produce from the South.”