Great Perthshire, the regional food group that aims to grow a thriving food and drink network for Perth & Kinross, has secured funding to champion local produce.

The dedicated food tourism group is receiving the funding from industry leadership body, Scotland Food & Drink. It is part of a national £250k fund, supported by the Scottish Government, to support the ongoing development of Scotland’s regional food groups.

Over the next 12 months, Great Perthshire aims to increase awareness and champion local suppliers and producers through a strategic marketing campaign to encourage businesses to have a louder collective voice and build collaboration in Perth & Kinross.

The group would like to increase membership across the region, offer an accessible training programme, provide networking and promotional opportunities, and run a successful food and drink event in 2021.

The group would like to increase membership across the region, offer an accessible training programme, provide networking and promotional opportunities, and run a successful food and drink event in 2021.

The fund is benefitting 16 groups across the country by resourcing coordinator posts and will include match-funding from partners including local authorities. It aims to create an active network of regional ambassadors who work in conjunction with local authorities to promote regional food and drink and tourism strategies.

Regional food groups, like Great Perthshire, plan and deliver projects such as increasing consumption and supply of local produce; upskilling food and drink businesses; hosting events; improving digital developments and e-commerce with local companies and, crucially, developing food and drink tourism.

Mark Bush, chair, Great Perthshire, said:

“Perthshire is the heart of Scottish food and drink. Our region offers the finest examples of grown, reared, made and brewed produce alongside world-class dining and hospitality providers. It is so important, now more than ever, to support our incredibly diverse and hardworking producers to ensure that our unique local character continues. Buying, consuming and using local produce enables us to feel a part of our community and place, keeps the planet happy and supports economic growth and employment.

“The funding from Scotland Food & Drink will help us drive our food story as part of the wider building demand for sustainable food tourism.”

Fiona Richmond, Head of Regional Food at Scotland Food & Drink, said:

“Regional food groups like Great Perthshire have a pivotal role to play in the successful growth and development of our country’s food, drink and food tourism sectors, especially in the recovery from Covid-19.

“With a combination of both long-established groups, those which are more recently formed, and some which are brand new, Scotland’s diverse mix of regional food groups all have energy, ambition and a commitment to championing their areas. With this new funding, our aim is to build a strong network of groups and give them the recognition and backing they deserve.”

Supporting regional food groups is a key pillar in Scotland Food & Drink’s UK Market Development ‘Home Advantage’ Strategy, which aims to achieve £17bn turnover from food and drink sales within the UK by 2030.

The 16 regional food groups being supported by the new funding are:

  • Appetite for Angus
  • Arran’s Food Journey
  • Ayrshire Food Network
  • Bute Kitchen
  • Dumfries & Galloway Food and Drink Forum
  • Discover Inverclyde’s Food and Drink
  • Eat Drink Hebrides
  • East Lothian Food & Drink
  • Food from Argyll
  • Food from Fife
  • Forth Valley Food & Drink Network
  • Great Perthshire
  • North East Scotland Food & Drink Network
  • Orkney Food & Drink
  • Savour the Flavours
  • Shetland Food & Drink

For further information on Great Perthshire, please visit https://www.greatperthshire.com/

For further information on Regional food groups and their work, please visit connectlocal.scot