The Scottish food and drink industry needs you, this month and beyond - Rosalind Erskine

And just like that it’s September. With the past 18 months either moving at a glacial pace or speeding by, getting back to key diary dates has been the slow awakening that has been needed after lockdowns and restrictions.

Festivals, live music, and food and drink events are back, and thankfully so for many of us.

September also brings with it the Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight.

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Established by industry body, Scotland Food & Drink, the fortnight, which runs from September 4-19, is designed to encourage more people to buy, eat and promote Scottish food and drink and be part of the nation's biggest food and drink celebration.

Rosalind Erskine is calling for produce to be celebrated for the Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight. Picture: PA Photo/Susan Bell

The campaign will shine a spotlight on the nation’s best food and drink producers, the passionate chefs using local and Scottish ingredients, and the national retailers, local shops, markets and cafés that are putting Scottish food and drink front and centre.

When we were deep in lockdown, good food and drink, whether eating, drinking or making it, more than sustained many of us, including myself. The industry quickly pivoted to offer takeaways, cook-at-home meal kits and zoom tastings, bringing people together when they physically couldn’t be.

With the pandemic turning into a so-called ‘pingdemic’, staff and supply shortages and the real toll of Covid-19 and Brexit yet to be revealed, the Scottish food and drink industry is facing unprecedented challenges.

Touching on this, Scotland Food & Drink chief executive James Withers was positive, saying: "Our ambition remains the same – to be a land of exceptional produce for our local communities as well as international markets.”

The Scotland Food & Drink team want everyone to share and shout about their favourite Scottish producers, restaurants, businesses and chefs under the hashtag #ScotFoodFest21.

Whether it’s community initiatives that started up during lockdown, food and drink businesses that are embracing the net zero and climate change agenda to the entrepreneurs, start-ups with a fantastic new story to tell or your local cafe that makes cracking cakes, get online, on the phone or simply tell a friend about them.

As, after keeping us all going through the pandemic, the Scottish food and drink industry needs us and our support now more than ever. This month and beyond.

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