Scotland Food & Drink seeks buyers & suppliers for showcasing event

Food and drink buyers and suppliers across Scotland are being encouraged to apply for an event where they can pitch their products to a selection of buyers across retail, foodservice and tourism organisations.

Delivered by Scotland Food & Drink and supported by the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership’s Recovery Plan, Showcasing Scotland Regional: North-East and Highlands & Islands, is returning virtually for 2021. Taking place on Tuesday 2 November it will help connect Scottish suppliers with regional buyers, in a response to the growing demand for high quality, local produce.

The event comes after a particularly turbulent 18 months for the Scottish food and drink supply chain and has been designed to act as a matchmaking exercise to help suppliers and buyers, meet and build relationships to secure future business.

Lucy Husband, Market Development and Business Engagement Director at Scotland Food & Drink, said, “It is no secret that Scotland produces some of the highest quality food and drink in the world, the passion and innovation of our suppliers, especially during one of the hardest times in recent history, is what makes it such an exciting proposition for UK retailers, foodservice and wholesaler companies.

“Our research over the past year has shown that 67% of Scottish shoppers say that where their food is being made or produced is becoming increasingly important, with 6 in 10 consumers planning to buy more locally produced products in the next 6 months. So we know the appetite for Scottish products is there.

“We would like to see as many food and drink producers apply to take part in this event, particularly those within the North East and Highland and Islands regions. Although it is a virtual event this year, there will still be fantastic opportunities to connect with the right buyers and on the same side, buyers can expect to hear about products that really help them meet the quality local produce demand they are seeing from consumers.”

Peter Cook, ONE Director of Food Drink & Agriculture, added, “Selling is all about being seen by, and forming relationships with, potential buyers. Past showcasing events have resulted in great sales success for north east businesses. The connections made are invaluable, even if they don’t result in immediate sales, the awareness, feedback and pitching experience are critical.

'As the hospitality sector continues to open up this is an important and timely opportunity for food and drink producers, including the many exciting new starts that have emerged in the last two years. Opportunity North East will support regional businesses with advice and planning to ensure they maximise this opportunity.”

Laura Robertson, Development Manager at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said, “The food and drink sector has been hard hit over the last 18 months and we are working as part of the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership to ensure businesses are supported to bounce back in a strong position and take advantages of the opportunities available to them.

“This event aims to do just that by bringing our region’s food and drink producers and makers together with local and national buyers and will help raise awareness of the availability, accessibility and quality of our local produce. I would hope the virtual nature of the event will also help attract a wide variety of businesses from across our region.”

The event is free for buyers to register, members of Scotland Food & Drink will be asked to pay a £75 + VAT deposit, refundable on attendance and it is £199 + VAT for non-members to register.

Both buyers and suppliers can register to take part in the event by visiting https://foodanddrink.scot/showcasing-scotland-regional/