How this London event has helped fire up Scotland's food and drink industry

Stephanie Pritchard and Jamie Durkin of Scotland Food & Drink. Picture: Lesley Cook Photography.Stephanie Pritchard and Jamie Durkin of Scotland Food & Drink. Picture: Lesley Cook Photography.
Stephanie Pritchard and Jamie Durkin of Scotland Food & Drink. Picture: Lesley Cook Photography.
“This event was invaluable in reinforcing the excellence of Scottish produce to key industry players in the UK market.”

A key leadership organisation for Scotland's food and drink industry has hailed as “pivotal” an event it hosted to introduce influential buyers south of the Border to Scottish producers.

Scotland Food & Drink said its London Discovery Programme, run in partnership with Scotland House London, is a three-part event aimed at strengthening the sector's position in the UK market, particularly in London, which it stated has been identified as the key to unlocking the £1 billion domestic market opportunity over the next five years.

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The trade body added that, to this end, it recently appointed Jamie Durkin as dedicated in-market specialist for London, whose role is to foster relationships and help unlock new business for Scottish food and drink businesses in this “lucrative” market.

The event started with an exclusive webinar on May 29, providing Scottish suppliers with insights into the London market and consumer preferences, followed by three in-person Discovery Tours, offering immersive experiences tailored to the retail, foodservice, and on-trade channels.

The initiative culminated with a networking lunch and Meet the Buyer Showcase on Thursday June 6, which was held at Scotland House, featured Scottish produce catered by Auld Hag, and offered the 35 attending Scottish food and drink suppliers the opportunity to show off their products and engage with about 40 key buyers, influencers, and decision-makers from the retail, foodservice, and on-trade sectors.

Stephanie Pritchard, head of UK market-development at Scotland Food & Drink, said: "The London Discovery Programme & Meet the Buyer Showcase represents a pivotal step in our strategy to strengthen the Scottish food and drink industry's position in the UK market. We were thrilled to provide our ambitious suppliers with this unique opportunity to explore the vast potential of the London market, and forge valuable connections with key buyers and influencers."

Scotland Food & Drink boss Iain Baxter added: "This event was invaluable in reinforcing the excellence of Scottish produce to key industry players in the UK market. By combining our expertise and resources, events such as this are pivotal in our bid to equip Scottish suppliers with the necessary knowledge and tools to thrive in the dynamic London market – and showcase the best of Scotland across the UK."

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