Support for Locally Produced Food and Drink

Orkney Food and DrinkProducers of locally made food and drink can now apply for funding of up to £5000 to support the promotion of their product.

The Connect Local Regional Food Fund supports collaborative working on regional food and drink.

Scotland’s Food and Drink Industry is hugely successful and Orkney  with its quality products is a top contributor. As members of the EU products have protected name status which means consumers have a mark of quality they can rely on and this subsequently can bring in a higher price. When the UK leaves the EU on 29th March 2019 protected named status will go unless something comparable which is also internationally recognised is put in its place. That has not happened yet.

There are 86 UK goods with protected named status which includes the likes of Cornish Pasties and Stilton Blue Cheese. In Scotland:

Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop Cheese (PGI) Scottish Farmed Salmon (PGI)
Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar (PGI) Scotch Lamb (PGI)
Stornoway Black Pudding (PGI) Scotch Beef (PGI)
Scottish Wild Salmon (PGI) Arbroath Smokie (PGI)
Shetland Lamb (PDO) Native Shetland Wool (PDO)
Orkney Beef (PDO) Teviotdale Cheese (currently not in production) (PGI)
Orkney Lamb (PDO) Bonchester Cheese (currently not in production) (PDO)

Scottish whisky is also protected as a geographical location

Commenting on the Scottish Regional Food Fund, Ceri Ritchie, Connect Local Project Manager and Sector Manager for Food and Drink at SAC Consulting, said:

“The Regional Food Fund will allow for support to Scottish food and drink producers and regional groups and networks, including farm retail and local food events, where traditionally funding can be hard to find. In particular, it is hoped that the funding will help support new collaborative initiatives in their early stages and will also deliver benefits to Scotland’s local food and drink sector over the long-term.”

Fergus Ewing, Rural Economy Secretary in the Scottish Government announced the funding at the  Food and Drink Excellence Awards in Edinburgh.

He said:

Fergus Ewing“We’re very fortunate in Scotland to have a food and drink sector that is internationally renowned.

“It is a major driver in our economy and supports around 17,000 businesses, and 115,000 jobs – as well as providing an increasingly important contribution to Scotland’s unique tourist offering.

“The Scottish Government’s aim is to support the industry’s ambition to double its value to £30 billion by 2030. In order to do that we’re working with partners to develop new and existing markets, boosting innovation and skills, and supporting local producers via business rates exemptions, and schemes like the Connect Local Regional Food Fund.

“These grants of up to £5000 will support collaborative local projects, providing vital funding when these initiatives need it most. This relatively modest outlay will result in long-term benefits for our regional food industry and the wider economy.”

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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