Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight is about to get underway – and it’s looking to attract more young people into the industry as a career choice.
The organisation responsible for Scotland’s food and drink sector is encouraging more young people to consider is as an option and help double its value by the year 2030.
Scotland Food & Drink is using its annual Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight as a platform to highlight the huge diversity within the industry and position it as a fantastic and rewarding career for young people.
The organisation has set out a long-term vision to fill around 27,000 jobs by 2022 to ensure the industry continues to grow. This follows the Ambition 2030 cross-sector growth strategy unveiled in 2017 in which the organisation announced its goal of doubling the value of the industry to £30 billion by 2030.
Harnessing the Year of Young People, this year’s campaign, entitled #ScotFoodGoals, is focused on the future of the sector. Designed as a platform to champion the talented young people in the industry and promote the amazing career opportunities, the campaign encourages Scots to share their goals for the future of the sector and promotes the collective role we all play in ensuring its continued to growth and success.
#ScotFoodGoals will also continue to celebrate the dedicated consumers, entrepreneurs, retailers, caterers, producers, wholesalers and many more, and encourage everyone to eat, drink, promote, sell and cook Scottish.
With the Fortnight officially launching on Saturday (1 September), James Withers, chief executive at Scotland Food & Drink, was joined by Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, and a group of young people who are each contributing in their own way to the ongoing success of the industry.
During an event held at Thomsons Coffee Roasters in the Argyle St Arches in Glasgow to launch Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, Ellie Sinclair, Patrick MacHugh, Rory Campbell and Jenny MacDonald each spoke about their experiences of being a young person working in the food and drink industry, why they believe it’s important to attract more under 30s and what their goals are for the future.
James said: ‘The global reputation Scotland has for its food and drink is unparalleled. Now is an exciting time to be involved in the sector in Scotland and the opportunity for the next generation to raise the bar ever higher is hugely compelling.
‘By 2030 we want to have doubled the value of Scotland’s food and drink industry. While this is a challenge, we believe it’s achievable, especially with more young people choosing careers in food and drink.
‘You don’t have to look far to see the amazing contribution young people are making. Our #ScotFoodGoals campaign will act as a springboard to show just how diverse and rewarding a career in food and drink can be.’
Aiming to stimulate discussion and showcase the wealth of opportunities in the food and drink industry, a number of young people have been recruited to act as Food & Drink Fortnight ambassadors and spread the word about how fulfilling, exciting and diverse a career in the sector can be.
From 19-year-old Finlay MacDonald running his own successful chocolatiers in the Highlands and Ellie Sinclair, 23, from Aberdeenshire with her own business using renewable energy from the family farm to make chutneys and sauces, to former international badminton player Patrick MacHugh from Glasgow who has swapped his racket to develop a performance coffee brand and Fraser Cameron, one of the youngest sous chefs to work in a Michelin star restaurant in Scotland. The impact young people are making on the industry is widespread.
For Jennifer Macdonald, 31, running her own farm and growing her own crops has been a long-held dream and since launching her own community interest company (CIC) in 2016 called Woodside Arran, she has not looked back.
As a nutritionist and herbalist with a background in horticulture, Jennifer knows a thing or two about ensuring a healthy diet. Alongside husband Andy, Jennifer runs Woodside where they she grows and sources the best quality fruit, vegetables, meat and eggs for sale on the Island.
She said: ‘Unfortunately, we don’t have the best choice of healthy, affordable organic produce on Arran so after moving here in 2015, it became clear that there was a real gap in the market for this kind of service on the island.
‘I have a background in horticulture and a long-term dream to create a permaculture farm, it was just a dream come true when we got Woodside off the ground. I am able to combine my love of cooking with growing my food.’
The annual Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight will run 1-16 September. To learn more about Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight and how you can be involved visit: www.fooddrinkfort.scot or engage with campaign on social media: @Eat_Scottish (Twitter), @Eat_Scottish (Instagram) and @eatscottish (Facebook.)
Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight is the annual celebration of Scotland’s fantastic produce, which takes place every September. Delivered by industry leadership organisation Scotland Food & Drink since 2009, the Fortnight grows more successful every year.
The Fortnight aims to highlight the fresh, seasonal and locally sourced food and drink products available throughout the country and the producers behind them.