Ambitious target for food and drink sector

Food and drink producers are aiming to double the sector's revenue to �2.5billion.
Food and drink producers are aiming to double the sector's revenue to �2.5billion.

Representatives from Dumfries and Galloway’s food and drink sector have announced an ambitious target to double the value of region’s industry to £2.5 billion by 2030.

The target was revealed as Dumfries and Galloway Council and regional industry organisation DG Food and Drink launched a business survey to inform a new regional food and drink strategy and action plan to support the £2.5 billion ambition.

Food and drink is already Dumfries and Galloway’s most valuable economic sector by a considerable distance, with an annual turnover of £1.29 billion, employing 13,700 people.

The regional growth ambition aligns with the national food and drink strategy, ‘Ambition 2030’ which aims to double the value of Scotland’s industry over the next 12 years.

Archie Dryburgh, Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee chairman, said: “Our Council has committed to deliver an ambitious regional Food and Drink Strategy to double the size of the industry over the next twelve years. In order to do that we are inviting the full spectrum of the food and drink industry - from producer to end user - to tell us what their needs and their opportunities are so that our Council and our partners can help businesses across the region to realise their potential.

We are also looking within, at our own internal processes and policies to see how our council, as a purchaser of food and drink, can work better with our local industry to open up trading opportunities.”

The strategy and action plan will be developed over the summer and will be informed by industry surveys followed up by a series of workshops and one to one consultations with businesses and industry organisations. The surveys are open for three weeks and links to them can be found on www.dgfoodanddrink.org. All food and drink related businesses and organisations in the region, from field and sea to plate, are encouraged to participate.

Lorna Young of DG Food and Drink added: “It is clear that collaboration will play an important role in growing our region’s economy. Perhaps more than any other region in Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway’s food and drink and tourism industries are very closely intertwined.

“So we look forward to exploring how these two industries can work together to make the most of the rapid growth in the food tourism sector, as initiatives like the Stranraer Oyster Festival and Castle Douglas Food Town are already doing.”