The quality of food and drink we have in Orkney, indeed across Scotland, is to be further promoted with a new action plan linking it up with tourism. The action plan is the result of a collaboration between Scotland’s Food and Drink Industry and the Scottish Government.
£1billion a year is spent by visitors to Scotland on food and drink and this action plan aims to focus on local products. It comes at a time when our highly valued protected named status for Orkney beef, Orkney lamb and Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar is under threat as the UK prepares to leave the EU. Support for Locally Produced Food and Drink
James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink said:
“Scottish food and drink is sold all over the world, from five-star hotels in Dubai to top bars in New York, but we want to ensure visitors in Scotland to have the same world-class eating and drinking experience.
“There are already many pockets of success but we want a new, nationwide approach to food tourism. Eating and drinking is one guaranteed activity that every visitor in Scotland will undertake.
“We know that a good, local food and drink experience is what visitors want, it drives spend in our tourism businesses and it supports local producers. Above all though, it builds Scotland’s food, drink and tourism reputation on the world stage.
“The hard work to make Scotland a global food tourism destination begins now. But with two powerhouse industries of tourism and food and drink working together alongside government, we will make it happen. There is a huge economic and reputational prize awaiting us if we get this right.”
Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance said:
“Collaboration is the foundation of our national tourism strategy and the Scottish Tourism Alliance are delighted to be working in partnership with our friends and colleagues at Scotland Food & Drink to deliver this first Food Tourism Action Plan for Scotland.
“We are totally committed to encouraging and supporting all food and drink related business, that are by the very nature of what they do ‘Tourism Business’, to get behind this shared ambition, to embrace the plan so that those who choose to visit, drink and dine out in our hotels, pubs, cafés, bars, restaurants or at any event can enjoy an even greater choice of local quality authentic food and drink experiences in destinations throughout Scotland delivered by skilled and passionate people.”
As well as supporting regional events the action plan will encourage the top 100 tourism sites in Scotland to apply for a ‘Taste Our Best’ award.
Orkney abounds in quality local food and drink and with super places to eat on any kind of budget – be it our excellent mobile caterers or our hotels and restaurants. Popular with visitors is being able to see the process that goes into making a product with tours at Distilleries and Breweries all catering for interested visitors and locals.
The action plan will also see the creation of an apprenticeship in Food Tourism, improved marketing and increased diversification in the farming sector.
Pictured here is one of Orkney’s newest visitor attractions, The Kirkjuvagr Gin Distillery on Kirkwall’s rejuvenated shore front.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame