Businesses Have an Appetite for Angus Food & Drink NetworkNeil Hardie
It is an undisputed fact that Food and Drink are an absolutely vital component of the Tourism industry. It is at the heart of the experience that customers have and can make (or break) their feeling for the region. Food Tourism is now a key opportunity for local food and drink producers and based on figures from Scotland Food & Drink, £995m per annum is spent by visitors to Scotland, 92% of whom dined out whilst they were here. The same report suggests that the local Food & Drink market is worth £1.3bn.
There is therefore no doubt that the opportunity is huge, and so ATC have led the way to bring together local producer businesses alongside hospitality outlets and retailers to see if the industry has an appetite for the establishment of a network with the aim of working together to inform, celebrate and promote Angus Food & Drink focusing on the produce and the individual and collective experience we have. There are so many outstanding businesses in Angus, all working hard to promote their own efforts who will hopefully also benefit from a collective support network and approach.
So, on a ‘dreich’ night in January, nearly 50 businesses came together at Letham Village Hall to hear from Scotland’s local food and drink marketing advisory service, Connect Local’s Ceri Ritchie about the opportunity and to understand the benefits that would arise from working together. This was followed by a workshop session where everyone was invited to identify their key priorities and challenges, which led to lots of passionate debate and quite a bit of laughter!
The appetite proven, a number of individuals from businesses put their hands up to join a working group to get the network up and running, so watch this space!
The Angus Tourism Co-operative board also offered to work alongside Angus Council on a special event for Tay Cities Business Month, and February 13th will see a “Food & Drink Expo” taking place at the Strathmore Hall in Forfar. Over 30 Tay Cities businesses are already signed up for an event which will see local producers come together to host local hospitality outlets, retailers and buyers, giving them the opportunity to see the wealth of local produce first hand. More information about the event can be seen here.
Any tourism businesses wanting to take part should contact ATC Director Martin Beard on firstname.lastname@example.org