The Scotland Food & Drink 10th AGM took place on Thursday 23rd March 2017 at the Hilton Double Tree Hotel, Glasgow and was once again a first-class event with around 380 members in attendance

It was a big day for the food & drink industry as James Withers (CEO - SF&D) launched the new 2030 strategy, a new, ambitious plan to drive growth in Scotland’s farming, fishing, food and drink industry. The strategy, Ambition 2030, has been developed by the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership, an industry-led partnership of the main organisations in the farming, fishing, food and drink sector, alongside The Scottish Government and its key agencies.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joined the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership in Glasgow to launch the strategy where she announced a new £10 million funding package. In her address to the members she said “Scotland’s food and drink sector has enjoyed phenomenal success over the past ten years with unprecedented growth in turnover and exports, including food exports alone doubling to £1.5 billion.

The industry’s focus will be on building Scotland’s national brand as a Land of Food and Drink and driving sales within Scotland, across the rest of the UK and globally. To unlock the £30 billion potential of the industry, the strategy focuses on three areas:

People and Skills: raising attractiveness of the industry as a career destination and investing in the existing workforce.

Supply Chain: ensuring farmers, fishermen, manufacturers and buyers work in closer partnership, to ensure greater profitability is shared across the industry.

Innovation: embracing a new culture of developing new products and processes to drive growth.

In addition, the industry made a renewed commitment to responsible growth, committing to deliver broader benefits to the country beyond just sales growth. This includes an offer of a new partnership with Government and its agencies to drive improvements in Scotland’s health and wellbeing and to commit again to embracing world-leading standards of environmental sustainability.

Food and drink has been Scotland’s best performing sector in recent years, worth £14.4 billion annually and is now employing 119,000 people directly in the industry.

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