Gleneagles Showcasing Scotland event to bring £60m boost for Scottish food and drink

A major food and drink event in Perthshire is expected to generate at least £60 million in domestic and international sales for Scottish suppliers.

Scotland Food & Drink chief executive James Withers called Showcasing Scotland the sector's 'most important trade event'. Picture: Stewart Attwood
Scotland Food & Drink chief executive James Withers called Showcasing Scotland the sector's 'most important trade event'. Picture: Stewart Attwood

More than 150 buyers, with a combined spending power of more than £3 billion, will attend Showcasing Scotland today at Gleneagles Hotel.

The biennial event, organised by industry body Scotland Food & Drink and government agency Scottish Development International (SDI), offers Scottish suppliers “enormous” opportunities with buyers from some of the world’s biggest markets, including China, Japan, the US, Europe and the Middle East.

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It also welcomes prospective buyers from across the UK, such as major supermarkets, catering groups and hospitality chains.

The three-day event kicked-off yesterday with “field to fork” tours, which are followed by two days of one-to-one meetings, set to commence in Auchterarder this morning.

Showcasing Scotland’s previous event in 2017 resulted in more than £60m of sales across two days of intensive meetings.

The event, supported by major industry organisations as well as the Scottish Government, will feature representatives from every category of Scottish food and drink, including salmon and seafood, whisky, meat and dairy.

Food and drink is one of Scotland’s largest industries, supporting 119,000 jobs and generating a £15bn annual turnover. Scotland Food & Drink’s Ambition 2030 initiative aims to double this to £30bn by 2030.

Chief executive James Withers said: “This is the most important trade event that we do in our sector. Scotland punches above its weight in terms of food and drink exports, accounting for almost 30 per cent of the UK total and worth over £6bn a year.

“Our food and drink industry has a growing global reputation for quality and, over the next few days, we can convert that status into sales.

“This is an opportunity drive Scottish food and drink sales across the UK but it is also an enormous export opportunity. Brexit is a reminder of how we must continue to sell a broader range of products to a broader range of markets. This is critical to achieve our ambition of a £30bn sector by 2030.”

Neil McInnes, head of trade of consumer industries and energy at SDI, added: “This fantastic event has a strong track record of delivering new sales for Scottish companies.

“The scale of this event illustrates not only the ambition of Scottish companies seeking to target new overseas markets, but also an increasing appetite for Scottish produce globally. We’ re expecting to see a significant increase in international business as a result of the meetings undertaken this week.”