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Regional food event series drive sales for Scottish producers

‘Larder of the Lowlands’, a showcase of Lowlands food and drink for prospective buyers, took place earlier this week in Dumfries and included seafood companies Belhaven Smokehouse and West Coast Sea Products. The vent built upon the success of the inaugural event last year, delivered by Scotland Food & Drink’s Regional Food Groups to grow regional markets.

Larder of the Lowlands welcomed buyers from retail, wholesale, foodservice, and tourism sectors to meet more than 50 local producers at a marketplace-style event designed to drive sales and growth for local businesses. The event was delivered by Regional Food Groups from Dumfries and Galloway, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Arran and East Lothian, supported by industry leadership body, Scotland Food & Drink.

Scotland Food & Drink has committed to supporting 4 local supplier events across the country, organised by Regional Food Groups: Forth Valley Food and Drink Tasting Tables which took place in March, Tasting Tayside on the 14th May in Dundee and Eat Drink Hebrides producer tour on 17th April.

Building strong regional food and drink networks in Scotland is a central element in the overarching industry strategy, ‘Sustaining Scotland. Supplying the World.’. Food and drink is the third largest employer sector in Scotland and industry turnover is £16bn annually. The strategy identifies a £0.5bn opportunity to grow the sector domestically, and with research from The Knowledge Bank identifying a desire from Scottish consumers to buy more local products, developing local and regional markets is integral to unlocking the unrealised value.

Fiona Richmond, Head of Regional Food, Scotland Food & Drink, said: “Events like this are so important to help Scottish food and drink businesses grow in their regional markets, and allow buyers to explore new products and fulfil local sourcing needs. Scotland’s Regional Food Groups are the local stars of our food and drink sector and without their hard work and dedication, we wouldn’t be able to provide such a comprehensive programme of immersive events to champion our sector and the amazing produce available right across the country.”

Forth Valley Food and Drink Tasting Tables which took place in March welcomed more than 20 buyers and showcased producers including Grace Chocolates, Stacey’s Designer Cakes, Collymoon Craft Gin, Golden Bottom Bakery, Foragers Foods, Upper Ballaird Farm Co-op, Ochil Fudge, Farrah’s Dairy Ltd, io Fibrewater and Stirling Coffee.

Emma Bouglet, Business Manager at East Lothian Food and Drink, said “It was fantastic to see the room buzzing with amazing producers from the Lowlands and buyers from all over Scotland and the UK. Lots of amazing connections were made and new collaborations. The Lowlands should be proud of their incredible Larder!”

Sheena Horner, Business Manager at Eat SW Scotland, said: “I’m delighted the Larder of the Lowlands has taken place for the second time. The Showcasing event has such a great atmosphere and delighted to see new buyers and producers attending as well as returning.”