Now in its 12th year, Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight 2021 takes place from Saturday 4 to Sunday 19 September and will celebrate the regional diversity Scottish food and drink has to offer.
This year, Scotland Food & Drink wants to encourage more people than ever to buy, eat and promote Scottish food and drink and be part of the nation's biggest food and drink celebration.
The campaign will shine a spotlight on the nation’s best food and drink producers, the passionate chefs using local and Scottish ingredients and the national retailers, local shops, markets and cafés that are putting Scottish food and drink front and centre.
Despite a particularly turbulent 18 months for the Scottish food and drink sector, with Covid-19 and Brexit having a massive impact on suppliers and producers across the country, Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight 2021 is all about looking forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead within the industry.
From community initiatives that started up during lockdown to the growing network of regional food groups, food and drink businesses that are embracing the Net Zero and climate change agenda to the entrepreneurs or start-ups with a fantastic new story to tell, the team want to put a spotlight on it during the Fortnight.
James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said: “We are delighted to launch this year’s Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, celebrating all of the brilliant suppliers, producers and brand champions that our sector has to offer.
"Like all areas of life, Scotland’s food and drink industry has faced significant challenges in the past 18 months, but our ambition remains the same - to be a land of exceptional produce for our local communities as well as international markets.
“The industry is alive with passionate and talented people, long-established brands and young, innovative businesses who have adapted quickly, taking the challenges of the past 18 months in their stride.
"Supporting local producers is so important and we continue to see a real pride in what is being reared, grown and manufactured on our doorstep.”
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon added: “Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight is an incredible opportunity to bring producers and consumers together, showcasing Scotland’s amazing natural larder.
“Our producers, farmers and fishers showed tremendous resilience as they navigated the pandemic, and now face the stark realities of a new operating landscape brought about by a reckless Brexit deal.
“Against this backdrop, there is no better time for people and businesses in Scotland to get behind our food and drink sector.
"Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight provides the ideal opportunity for more people to consume quality, nutritious and tasty Scottish produce.”
Scotland Food & Drink toasted the start of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight at Bellfield Brewery in Edinburgh.
Since being established in 2015, Bellfield Brewery has built a strong reputation for producing great tasting, award winning beer that everyone can drink - all their beers are also accredited by the Vegan Society and certified by Coeliac UK.
Alistair Brown, Founder & CEO of Bellfield Brewery, said: “We are very proud to be part of a vibrant ecosystem of independent food and drink businesses that supported each other - and got great support from consumers - thanks to the ‘support local, eat local, drink local’ ethos that emerged during lockdown and has continued with the reopening of businesses.
“The incredible growth we saw in digital sales via bellfieldbrewery.com from April 2020 has been sustained through 2021 and we are again seeing strong demand for our beer locally and across the UK as hospitality opens up.
"At our brewery Taproom we partner with a different local food pop-up every weekend. It feels great to be getting back to celebrating the creativity, innovation, diversity and entrepreneurial spirit that Scotland’s food and drink businesses epitomise.”
Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight takes place 4-19 September and anybody can get involved by joining the celebrations on social media using #ScotFoodFort21. For more information visit the Scottish Food and Drink website.