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Forums staged across Scotland

Food and drink leaders to discuss strategy

James Withers Contini

Withers: on target (Photo by Terry Murden)

Industry body Scotland Food & Drink will today hold the first in a series of Leadership Forum events to discuss strategy for the industry.

In partnership with Morisons Solicitors, audit, tax and consulting firm RSM and Bank of Scotland, they will be attended by CEOs, directors and business owners from across the Scottish food and drink sector.

They will be followed by a series of town hall invitation events organised by the Scotland Food & Drink Network which will focus on the development on the industry’s 2030 strategy.  

Scotland Food & Drink chief executive James Withers said: “The Scottish food and drink industry is in a really strong position as one of Scotland’s best performing, on track to achieve our target of £16.5bn by 2017 as we come to the end of the current ten-year strategy.

“The Leadership Forum events will bring together key players in the sector for discussion about issues affecting the sector and shared ambitions for the future in a constantly evolving economic situation.

“One of the greatest unknowns is the impact of Brexit, one which will take many years to unfold. Work is well underway across the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership to shape our shared strategic direction and outcomes of the debate will feed in to the development of the new industry strategy which will map our course to 2030.

“The Leadership Forum events are an industry first and we’re looking forward to welcoming attendees at ten events across the country right into the New Year. “ 

Lucy Gannon, head of the food and drink team at Morisons Solicitors, said: “James and the team at SF&D are successful at promoting the interests of the sector and it is great to see them taking the initiative with the Leadership Dinners.”

Stuart McCallum, RSM’s head of food and drink team in Scotland, said: “Through collaboration we have a unique opportunity to shape the future success of the industry – working together to help the sector navigate market uncertainty, maximise opportunities and stimulate further industry growth.”

Jane Clark-Hutchison, area director, mid markets for central Scotland, Bank of Scotland, said: “Recent figures from the Scottish Government show a 3.3% increase in food and drink exports which is testament to the work being done across the industry to drive new business opportunities in overseas markets. 

“While there is a positive outlook, potential headwinds must be recognised in many of Scotland’s key export markets. By working together as an industry, remaining mindful of shifting economic landscapes, we will help to continue the success being seen across all segments of the sector.”

 

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