150 food and drink buyers from across the world, with a combined buying power of over £3 billion, will arrive in the country for Showcasing Scotland 2019 today (2 October 2019), held at Gleneagles Hotel.
The biennial event, organised by Scotland Food & Drink and Scottish Development International (SDI), and supported by major industry organisations and Scottish Government, brings together influential buyers from UK and international markets with leading Scottish suppliers.
The previous event in 2017 resulted in over £60 million of sales across two days of intensive meetings between buyers and suppliers.
Showcasing Scotland 2019 will offer Scottish suppliers global opportunities with buyers coming from some of the world’s biggest markets, including; China, USA, Europe, the Middle East and Japan, who will all attend alongside major UK supermarkets, catering and hospitality chains
Every category of the Scottish food and drink industry will be represented: salmon and seafood; whisky, spirits and craft ale; meat; bakery; dairy; produce and premium grocery. Many of Scotland’s largest food and drink brands and emerging producers will attend.
Showcasing Scotland 2019 offers three days of events, designed to tell the story of Scotland’s larder, help build new trade relationships and secure future business. These include field to fork tours to immerse buyers in Scotland’s food and drink, followed by two full days of pre-scheduled business meetings between national and international buyers and Scottish suppliers.
Yesterday (1 October), buyers from all over the world took part in the brewing and distilling tour, supported by Invest in Perth. During the tour, attendees were given the chance to meet various local producers at a range of breweries and distilleries, including the Inveralmond Brewery, which produces and exports beers around the globe, 71 Brewing and the St Andrews Brewing Company in Dundee, and Lindores Abbey Distillery.
James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said: “This is the most important trade event that we do in our sector. Showcasing Scotland is a fantastic opportunity for Scotland’s food and drink suppliers, and we’re delighted to be back at Gleneagles, bigger and better than before.
“Scotland punches above its weight in terms of food and drink exports, accounting for almost 30% of the UK total and worth over £6 billion a year. Our food and drink industry has a growing global reputation for quality and, over the next few days, we can convert that status into sales.
“This is an opportunity drive Scottish food and drink sales across the UK but it is also an enormous export opportunity. We’ll be welcoming our friends from across Europe into Scotland this week as well as from elsewhere in the world. Brexit is a reminder of how we must continue to sell a broader range of products to a broader range of markets. This is critical to achieve our ambition of a £30 billion sector by 2030.”
Neil McInnes, Head of Trade of Consumer Industries and Energy, Scottish Development International said: “This fantastic event has a strong track record of delivering new sales for Scottish companies. Our team of in-market food & drink specialists have done a brilliant job in attracting 100 international buyers from all over the world and reflects the fantastic network we are building in key markets overseas.
“The scale of this event illustrates not only the ambition of Scottish companies seeking to target new overseas markets, but also an increasing appetite for Scottish produce globally. We’ re expecting to see a significant increase in international business as a result of the meetings undertaken this week.”
Fergus Ewing, Minister for the Rural Economy, added: “Events like Showcasing Scotland are vital to showing producers at home and potential buyers from overseas that Scotland is open for business. The 2019 event provides a great opportunity to promote Scotland’s global reputation for producing high quality products further. Scotland produces fabulous food and drink and we want more people at home and abroad to enjoy it.”
Perth & Kinross Council’s Environment and Infrastructure Convener, Councillor Angus Forbes, said: “The diversity and strength of the food and drink sector in our area is something to be proud of and this is a valuable opportunity for local businesses to highlight their excellent, high-quality products in a global marketplace. I wish all the firms participating in Showcasing Scotland a very successful event.”