Growing food and drink through innovation

Written by David Thomson, CEO at the Scottish Food and Drink Federation on 8 November 2016 in Comment

Associate feature: the Scottish Food and Drink Federation inspiring businesses to innovate

Associate feature on behalf of the SFDF

Food and drink is an essential part of everyone’s lives and is critical to the success of our economy.

In Scotland our food and drink manufacturing industry employs 36,000 people, representing over 19 per cent of all manufacturing.

With exit from the EU on the horizon it is more important than ever that these economically vital companies are constantly innovating to ensure that they continue to thrive in a changing environment.

Businesses could, for example, find ways to reduce their environmental impact which could also save them money; invest in new technology or equipment that could increase production; create new products or reformulate existing products to meet consumer demand; or invest in current and future staff.

SFDF members Agrico UK Ltd; Brodie Melrose Drysdale Ltd; Coca-Cola European Partnerships; Ivan Wood & Sons Ltd; McCain Food Ltd; PepsiCoUK. - Quaker Oats; and Tunnock’s showcased their innovation stories at SFDF’s recent parliamentary reception. James Macsween, Managing Director, Macsween of Edinburgh, spoke at the event where he highlighted how Macsweens are finding innovative ways to make their products more versatile. This includes the use of packaging which facilitates easier cooking or by putting their recipes into other meal solutions like sausages and burgers.

Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, provided the key note speech. Mr Ewing emphasised that food and drink manufacturing will continue to be a key priority for Scottish Government and that he wants to encourage growth through having the best business operating environment possible.

There are many ways food and drink manufacturing companies can innovate, but there are barriers. Many need funding, support or advice to do so. We would be delighted to meet with politicians and other stakeholders to discuss what more can be done to support these companies to continue to grow into the future.

Get in touch on twitter, email or telephone 0131 229 9415 to discuss how we can work together.

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