National board appointed to deliver £1 billion food and drink tourism boost

A selection of Scottish food and drink

AN ambitious plan to boost food tourism in Scotland by £1 billion has taken another step forward with the creation of a national board to oversee its delivery.

Chaired by Marc Crothall, chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), and project managed by Fiona Richmond, head of regional food for Scotland Food & Drink, the new board is tasked with implementing the Food Tourism Action Plan, which launched last August and set out a blueprint to increase visitor spend on food and drink by £1billion by 2030.

The joint initiative between industry and the Scottish Government is said to represent a significant commitment from the country’s food and drink sectors to capitalise on what’s said to be a growing demand for Scottish destinations “to offer quality food and drink, with clear provenance and real, memorable experiences”.

Comprising 19 leading figures from tourism, agritourism, wholesale and catering, the newly appointed board members were selected for their extensive skills, expertise and commitment to the industry.

Crothall said: “The formation of such a strong, diverse board with representation across all of Scotland’s food and tourism sectors marks a hugely important step forward in realising the bold ambition set out in the Food Tourism Action Plan.

“Passion for people, produce and place is round our table in abundance, with strong reach into destinations, individual sectors, education, production and supply.

“I look forward to working with the board in the coming months and years to deliver our actions and grow Scotland into a number one global destination for food and drink.”

Fergus Ewing, rural economy secretary, said: “Products like Scotch whisky, Scotch beef and Scottish salmon are already renowned throughout the world, and our historic cities, rugged islands, and scenic countryside makes us a top destination for tourists.

“I’m confident that the experience and expertise of the board will be invaluable in driving forward the joint Scottish Government and industry Food Tourism Action Plan, which aims to deliver an extra £1 billion of visitor spend on food and drink by 2030.”