A new £3 million scheme has been launched to help Scottish food and drink businesses to build upon the success of the sector by strengthening the local food and drink supply chain. Connect Local, Scotland’s local food and drink marketing advisory service, was launched publicly today [Wednesday 30 November] by Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity.
Connect Local will build connections between local producers and entrepreneurs, micro-businesses and SMEs by offering specialist advice for enterprises with limited experience of marketing local food and drink. It will work to improve communication within the supply chain to help deliver stronger working practices between suppliers, processors, sellers and customers.
The programme will boost economic growth by unlocking domestic markets within the Scottish food and drink sector, which employs around 116,000 people and has annual turnover of £14.3 billion.
The service includes a specialist programme focusing on seafood, funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Scottish Government. The seafood element is being delivered through Seafood Scotland and supported by the wider collaboration for the service involving SAC Consulting, SAOS and Scotland Food & Drink.