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Food from Fife, the regional food group that aims to grow a thriving food and drink network across the kingdom, has secured funding to champion local produce, grow local food and drink businesses and food tourism.

The group, which is made up of a diverse group of member organisations including food producers, hospitality and tourism businesses, and other key stakeholders, is receiving the funding from industry leadership body, Scotland Food & Drink. It is part of a new national £250k fund, supported by the Scottish Government, to support the ongoing development of Scotland’s regional food groups.

Over the next 12 months, Food from Fife aims to support its members in the recovery from Covid-19, targeting growth, bringing together the industry and public sector, and encourage consumers to buy local.

Fife is home to the full spectrum of food and drink businesses; from cheese makers, to distillers and soft fruit farms. It also encompasses universities, colleges, hospitality businesses and distributors. The combination of its rich heritage in fishing and farming paired with truly innovative new food and drink businesses make it one of Scotland’s most exciting food and drink regions.

Founded in 2010, Food from Fife was formed as a not-for-profit group designed to grow Fife’s food and drink and food tourism industries in a sustainable way.

The fund will benefit 14 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 Food from Fife, 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.

Martha Bryce, Coordinator at Food from Fife, said: “The diversity of Fife’s food and drink sector supports jobs and communities across the region and with this funding support from Scotland Food & Drink, we can continue to build on its success.

“The appetite for local produce has been more important than ever over the past few months and those food and drink producers with a short, local supply chain have been best able to serve the needs of those living locally. For those living in Fife, food and drink should be a real source of pride too – the quality and range of produce is outstanding and there are a world-class cafes, restaurants and hotels right on our doorstep.

“Food from Fife has been sustained by membership fees and the generous support of Fife Council over the last few years. With the continued support of Fife Council and this new funding from Scotland Food & Drink, we can continue to champion our outstanding local food and drink heroes.”

Fiona Richmond, Head of Regional Food at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “Regional food groups like Food from Fife 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 14 regional food groups being supported by the new funding are:

  • Appetite for Angus
  • Arran’s Food Journey
  • Ayrshire Food Network
  • Bute Kitchen
  • Discover Inverclyde’s Food and Drink
  • Eat Drink Hebrides
  • East Lothian Food & Drink
  • Food from Argyll
  • Food from Fife
  • Forth Valley Food & Drink Network
  • North East Scotland Food & Drink Network
  • Orkney Food & Drink
  • Perth & Kinross Food Tourism Group
  • Shetland Food & Drink