Furloughed foodies flock to support local food and drink

More than 3,500 people have supported Scottish food and drink businesses by searching for produce in the supportlocal.scot online directory during lockdown, according to the latest figures.

Nearly 300 suppliers are promoting their wares through the website, which was created by industry body Scotland Food & Drink.

Demand for Scottish produce has risen during the coronavirus restrictions, with companies throughout the country adjusting their routines to keep up with orders.

In East Lothian, Yester Farm Dairies is focusing on home deliveries and online orders, and has expanded its delivery area to meet requests.

The Ethical Dairy near Gatehouse of Fleet, the sister company to Cream o’Galloway, has created a cheese box that also supports fellow local producers.

One family-run business that’s joined the online directory is The Tobermory Fish Company on Mull, which runs a mail order service.

Sales manager Sally MacColl said: “The Coronavirus crisis has undoubtably changed the landscape for many food and drink businesses and it’s great to see the Support Local directory providing a one-stop shop for customers to find some of the best food and drink in the world, that they can sample in their homes.

“I’m really looking forward to working my way through the list.”

Lucy Husband, UK market development director at Scotland Food & Drink, added: “It’s fantastic to see Scots get behind local businesses and appreciate the unrivalled larder that we’re so lucky to have on our doorstep.

“At the start of the lockdown, trolleys were filled with pasta and flour as people stockpiled essentials, but since then lots more people have started sourcing their food and drink from local suppliers and going directly to their favourite brands.

“We’ve seen that with our own eyes as thousands have accessed supportlocal.scot – the directory really highlights the incredibly diverse and high-quality food and drink that Scotland has to offer.

“Many of our country’s food and drink businesses lost their markets overnight as lockdown was introduced, so innovating and finding new ways to reach their customers has been vital for their survival.

“But equally as important is the vote of confidence that the Scottish public has given the industry, buying more online and supporting their local suppliers.

“Our food and drinks businesses, which are some of the country’s biggest employers, needs public support now more than ever.”

Read more food and drink news stories, reviews and recipes on Scottish Field‘s food and drink webpages.