Ambition 2030

Ambition 2030

The Scottish Government recently launched its’ AMBITION 2030 vision. The vision seeks to double the size of the food and drink industry by 2030. It’s a superb ambition and one which should be applauded and, most importantly, achievable.

Many of our clients are Scottish companies and organisations in the food and drink sector and it’s a sector that we have seen grow exponentially in the last few years.

Firstly, in the area of local provenance we have created murals for both Dumfries and Galloway and North Ayrshire Councils highlighting their policies of purchasing locally wherever possible. Dumfries & Galloway even created a local provenance brand – Naturally D&G – that sits at the heart of their whole catering operation. North Ayrshire Council have linked with Taste of Ayrshire to promote the producers in their region. ASSIST FM’s Scot’s Origin brand has been created to highlight local provenance and Scottish manufacturing. Within the local authorities ASSIST FM has made the brand available at no cost as they are proud to highlight Scottish produce in their school meals services. 

In the retail sector Filshill, have expanded their Craft Beer Clan offering taking local breweries products from all over Scotland and creating export opportunities for them as far afield as Hong Kong and Dubai. In their KeyStore shops they are constantly introducing Scottish produce, and they have now invested in Flavourly, an online shop selling the best craft beers and gins from across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

We have seen Brakes rebrand as Brakes Scotland, and introduce their Scottish provenance supplier brochure. We have seen Lomond Foods increase their operation and develop a fantastic chilled produce offering. And we have seen Braehead Foods grow their business exponentially across the UK, providing the very best in Scottish produce to the very best restaurants in the country. All of this has happened in the last few years. And it’s not a coincidence. ‘The Good Food Nation’, ‘Scotland, A Land of Food and Drink and the ‘Year of Food and Drink‘, have all highlighted the best Scottish produce.

It’s a very important sector for our country’s economy.

Here are some interesting stats about the importance of the food and drink sector to Scotland’s economy (source FDF Scotland).

  • We employ more than 36,000 people, 19% of the Scottish manufacturing workforce.
  • Our gross value added to the economy is £1.9bn, 14.2% of the Scottish manufacturing value added.
  • We are Scotland’s largest manufacturing sector, accounting for 18.8% of total manufacturing turnover.
  • 97% of our businesses are micro to medium-sized.
  • We have 891 businesses.

Over the last ten years food exports from Scotland have increased by more than 50% to £815m in 2014. Food and drink manufacturing accounts for around 45% of Scotland’s full supply chain turnover & the number of people it employs. We will need 19,000 new recruits by 2024 to meet the skills need of the sector.

And yet, it’s not long since the Telegraph newspaper ran a story about food and drink in Scotland, stating;

‘Here are some of Scotland’s most famous food and drinks

  • Deep fried butter balls coated in Irn Bru batter
  • Deep fried Mars Bar
  • Munchy Box
  • Crappit Heid
  • Haggis
  • Deep fried pizza
  • Cullen Skink

Maybe the Telegraph writer should take a walk through Finnieston in Glasgow, with its proliferation of superb boutique, individual restaurants.

I went out with friends to Alchemilla Restaurant in Finnieston a few weeks ago and the menu looked a little different from the one highlighted in the Telegraph, offering dishes from Sweet Onion and Sage Pappardelle to Octopus with Blood Orange and Thyme.

Every dish was superb, and as in many Scottish cities we are now really spoilt for choice with great new restaurants opening every month.

So things are obviously changing in Scotland.

James Withers, Chief Executive, Scotland Food & Drink said:

“As an industry, we are hugely ambitious for the future. There are uncertainties ahead, but we have a world class industry and growing markets at home and abroad. ‘Ambition 2030’ will drive a new era of growth in our sector for the benefit of Scotland’s economy and communities.

We applaud the ambition in Ambition 2030.

It is a very positive plan, but one which, in the uncertain days of Brexit, and global uncertainties, is one that is more important than ever for all of us to support and promote.