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88% of Scotland’s food and drink sector are optimistic about the future

31/03/2023
Left to Right: Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, Iain Baxter, and Nicky Marr who hosted the conference

88% OF businesses remain optimistic about the future growth of Scotland’s food and drink sector according to a survey conducted of business leaders.

The poll was conducted at Scotland Food & Drink’s Industry Conference in Edinburgh yesterday, where more than 350 delegates from across the sector met to discuss local and global growth opportunities.

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Almost three quarters (71%) of attendees felt that consumer demand for local produce has increased over the last year. More than half (54%) believed their biggest growth opportunity was within the wider UK market, and a quarter (25%) were looking to international markets for growth. 

The conference brought together the leading lights of Scotland’s food and drink industries with international buyers and household names. Some of the nation’s most dynamic and exciting brands including John Gilmour’s Butchers and The Gin Bothy, took to the stage to discuss their business journeys, building resilience, market opportunities and sustainability approaches.

Sponsored by Drac Logistics and CMS, guests also heard from international speakers including Dubai’s Foodsource, and retail giants Marks & Spencer and Alibaba, who outlined their view of the market, consumer trends, and what they’re looking for when partnering with Scottish suppliers. 

Iain Baxter, CEO at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome businesses from across the country to our first industry conference post-Covid, and my first as CEO at Scotland Food & Drink.

“The poll results highlight the ambition that our businesses have, and their strategies to seize growth opportunities. It’s heartening to see such positivity among our membership and wider industry, particularly in the context of myriad challenges facing the sector. 

“The positive attitude expressed today reflects the direction of our coming industry strategy. In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll set out the strategic direction to ensure that our sector is sustainable, resilient and growing.

“Events like this give businesses the tools to grow, both locally and globally, and learn from each other as we set out on our joint mission to grow the opportunities for our sector and champion Scotland as a land of food and drink. It is such a rewarding time to be part of this industry and I would like to thank every one of our speakers for sharing their stories, and insight, to make the day such a success.”

Scotland Food & Drink is a unique partnership between industry, research organisations and government to create world-class support programmes, tackle emerging challenges and ensure the best environment for food and drink businesses of all sizes to flourish.

For further information on Scotland Food & Drink, please visit: https://foodanddrink.scot/

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