This Friday Presents… Scotland – Land of Food and Drink- interview

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On Friday 15 August our This Friday Presents talk will hear from Fiona Richmond, 2014 Project Manager of industry leadership body Scotland Food and Drink. Scotland Food & Drink promotes and supports quality food and drink and showcases the best of Scotland’s rich larder. This free talk will run 1-2pm at The Lighthouse, and there will an opportunity for attendees to taste a small selection of Scottish produce.

This Friday Presents: Scotland – Land of Food and Drink is on 15 August 13:00-14:00 at The Lighthouse. Tickets are free, but pre-booking is advised

We caught up with Fiona before her talk.

2014 is a very significant year for Scotland with the world enjoying our wide range of events – where does our food and drink fit in to this?

2014 is indeed a momentous year for Scotland, and with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games under our belts, we are riding on the crest of a wave following such a spectacular success. The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles is just around the corner and still another few months of Homecoming events to enjoy.

We, and our partners in the 2014 Food & Drink team including Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International and our funders, the Scottish Government, are working hard to ensure that the year is remembered not just for the sporting triumphs but as the year that Scotland’s larder shines to the world.

We want to impress visitors, whether from home soil or further afield, with our delicious produce, and show that we care about the food on their plates, whether that be watching or participating in the events themselves or in our hotels, restaurants or wherever they may be visiting, that we are a destination for good quality produce made by passionate producers
Our Action Plan that set out a clear vision and objectives that would help us make the most of this year for the food and drink sector and ensure a lasting legacy. At its heart, this plan is about ensuring that Scotland is truly recognised as a Land of Food and Drink; where provenance becomes the norm, our reputation for naturally healthy products is enhanced and, all the while, giving our food and drink producers a platform to benefit business-wise, whether that be increasing sales through Homecoming products; wining new foodservice contracts with the appointed caterers or raising their profile via media activity.

What food or drink experience do you want visitors to Scotland NOT to miss when they are here?

Scotland is blessed with an outstanding array of top quality produce and I would love visitors to have a taste of this, including our spectacular salmon, fish and seafood (think hand-dived scallops, langoustine, crab, herring, mussels, Gigha Halibut and smoked trout); Scotch Beef; some of the new-wave Scottish charcuterie products such as smoked venison salami; delicious soft fruit in the summer season; artisan cheese and ice cream. Our drinks sector is flourishing too, with some superb producers of premium craft beer, cider and gin in the fold.

What do you hope the long term legacy of this focus on Scotland’s food and drink will be?

We hope that Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink will be enhanced and that both visitors and those on home soil, will realise the fantastic larder that we have on our doorstep.

We also hope that food and drink companies will reap business benefits and grow as a result of the 2014 Food & Drink opportunity. Moreover, it’s essential that the catering at events continues to improve and that it is always built on provenance and quality.

2015 is the Year of Food and Drink which gives us a perfect platform to continue and strengthen our aims.

This Friday Presents: Scotland – Land of Food and Drink is on 15 August 13:00-14:00 at The Lighthouse. Tickets are free, but pre-booking is advised.

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