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Year of Food and Drink 2015

Scottish food and drink producers gear up for a year-long promotion of all things Scottish

Date : 18/12/2014

All over Scotland food and drink producers, caterers, retailers and wholesalers are gearing up for a year-long promotion of all things Scottish.

Food and drink is a crucial part of Scottish culture and identity, and it’s an important ingredient in Scotland’s tourism industry. That’s why a Scottish Government initiative led in partnership by EventScotland (VisitScotland’s events directorate) and Scotland Food and Drink is driving the second Year of Food and Drink. 

The Year of Food and Drink is a twelve month programme to bring together Scottish businesses to celebrate our rich and diverse natural larder and put our produce firmly on the international menu. 

It aims to increase tourism revenue through food and drink, and promote Scottish produce to visitors and event attendees.

Throughout the year there will be a number of areas of activity where you could get involved: 

1. A comprehensive marketing and PR campaign promoting the year and Scotland as a Land of Food and Drink.
2. A Year of Food and Drink business toolkit, which has resources to help you market to visitors with an interest in sampling good quality local produce including a logo, digital banners, tips and inspiration to help you make the most of the year. 
3. The Year of Food and Drink Growth Fund, aimed at supporting groups of tourism businesses to deliver marketing projects aligned with the objectives of the year.
4. The food and drink quality assurance scheme Taste Our Best recognises businesses that provide and promote quality Scottish Produce. 
5. A series of workshops for EventScotland, delivered by EventScotland in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Experiencing Scotland and Scotland Food and Drink. 
6. EventScotland’s programme of events aligned with objectives of the year, supported by a themed events fund.

Why get involved?

There are plenty of opportunities for tourism businesses involved in food and drink in any way to get on board. Whether you serve, produce or sell it, this year is for you. 

The Year of Food and Drink toolkit, which has been developed by VisitScotland, has lots of useful resources including itineraries, free to use images as well as monthly themes to help you to plan your marketing activities. 

Themes of the Year of Food and Drink

Each month the focus will be on a different theme and we’ll be following this throughout the year with inspirational ideas, features and case studies.

January: Traditional Foods

New Year traditions of steak pies and shortbread, through to Burns Night with haggis.

February: The Food of Love
Foods associated with Valentine’s Day including oysters and other seafood, steak and chocolates.

March: Brewing and Distilling
Scottish beers and spirits (gin, vodka, liqueurs).

April: Award Winning Food
Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards entries and previous winners.

May: Whisky Month

As in previous years, May’s focus is on whisky.

June: The Future of Food

Skills, innovation and youth development including the Royal Horticultural Society’s Community Food programme.

July: Summer Berries and Fruits
Scotland’s abundant berries and pick-your-own farms.

August: Delicious Dairy
Yoghurts and ice cream, cream, milk, butter and cheeses.

September: Celebration 
Events and products that celebrate provenance and the produce on our doorstep, based around Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight.

October: Sustainable Shores
Sustainable fishing, seafood and salmon.

November: Hearty and Heart-warming
Meat dishes, vegetables and grains (including barley, oats and rapeseed) as well as broths and stews.

December: Grand Finale

Premium foods for Christmas including cheeses, relishes and pâté.

Food and Drink Excellence Awards 

Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards has been rewarding quality and innovation in the food and drink sector since 2007. Its annual award scheme opens for entries in the first week in January, and the deadline is 27 February. Visit the Scotland Food and Drink website for details on the 18 different categories and entry criteria. 

Further reading

The Year of Food and Drink
Year of Food and Drink Toolkit
Food and Drink Growth Fund
Taste Our Best Accreditation
Tourism Intelligence Guide to Food and Drink
Scotland Food and Drink
Follow VisitScotland on Twitter using the hashtag #TasteScotland