Around 150 influential food and drink buyers from across the globe will descend on Perthshire this week to attend the Showcasing Scotland event, organised by Scottish Development International, Scotland Food & Drink and Scottish Enterprise, at Gleneagles.
The event will build on the success of Showcasing Scotland 2014, which was the first time such an influential range of buyers from the UK and overseas had been brought together on such a scale. That event resulted in additional forecast sales of up to £20m for Scottish food and drink producers which participated in the three day event.
And Innovators magazine is delighted to be launching its first hard copy edition at the event.
Aiming to make an impact with the buyers at the event this week will be 100 of Scotland’s top food and drink businesses, all keen to make inroads into their key UK retailers and overseas target markets.
With over 1200 individual meetings already prearranged, the Scotland Food & Drink partnership expects the economic impact of the event, which runs 7-9 October, to be significant.
International buyers attending the event range will come from as far afield as Hong Kong, China, the Middle East, Japan, USA and South East Asia, in addition to those travelling from right across Europe.
Scotland Food & Drink Chief Executive James Withers commented, “Showcasing Scotland is the most important trade event in this year’s food and drink calendar. The scale of the event reflects our ambition to take our £14 billion industry to further success.
“It presents an outstanding business opportunity for some our most innovative, established and emerging food and drink manufacturers. More than 1200 individual buyer and supplier meetings are already lined up over 36 hours, I expect a multi-million pound sales boost. More than the business opportunities itself, the event will showcase Scotland’s credentials as a Land of Food and Drink to key UK and global buyers. It’s exciting to welcome buyers from around the world to Scotland but the opportunities to do business with the UK buying team at the event are just as significant.”
Susan Beattie, head of food and drink at Scottish Development International, added: “After a very successful showcase in 2014, we’ve worked hard with our partners to deliver an even bigger and better event for 2015, and the response from UK and international buyers has been terrific.
“The scale of this event illustrates not only the ambition of Scottish companies seeking to target new markets, but also an increasing appetite for Scottish produce which extends far beyond these shores.
“This showcase plays a key role in delivering opportunities for Scottish companies in the priority markets outlined in the industry export plan. Most of our international food and drink specialists have only been in place a few months but they have clearly hit the ground running, and the number of international buyers in attendance this week is a reflection on the specialists’ success in connecting Scottish suppliers with buyers looking for premium products with a great story to tell.”
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead said: “Showcasing Scotland is the ideal way to promote the fantastic food and drink we produce in this country and it is great to see so many buyers expected to attend from all across the world.
“Companies attending last year’s event forecast almost £20 million of additional sales over three years as a direct result of taking part. I have no doubt that the 2015 event, as Scotland celebrates our Year of Food and Drink, will provide a further boost to this phenomenally successful sector which is already worth more than £14 billion to the Scottish economy.”
Participating food and drink producers have completed a thorough preparatory programme to ensure they are in a strong position ahead of their one-to-one buyer meetings so they can make the most of the introduction. A packed programme of meetings is complemented by experiential visits for buyers focusing on Scotland’s key food and drink sectors. Producer categories represented at the event include seafood and salmon, alcoholic and soft drinks, bakery, premium grocery, dairy and red meat.
Perth & Kinross Council is supporting Showcasing Scotland 2015 through their Invest in Perth campaign. Councillor John Kellas,Convener of Enterprise and Infrastructure Committee at Perth and Kinross Council, said: “This event is hugely exciting for our local food and drink industry and a prime opportunity for Perthshire suppliers to land significant investment from influential buyers.
“To be taking place during Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink and at a time when the council is placing a huge amount of focus on the sector, through business support packages and the bespoke Food and Drink Park, this is an exciting time for an industry at the heart of Perthshire life.”