The food and drink supply chain employs over 360,000 people across Scotland. The sector generates value added of over £9.5 billion per annum for Scotland’s economy. In December 2009 the food and drink industry launched its ambitious strategy for growth and has been working hard to turn that vision into reality. Revised in October 2013, the strategy aims to grow the value of the industry to £16.5bn by 2017 through exploiting the growth markets of premium, health and provenance. Much of this growth is expected to come from individual businesses delivering their own ambitious plans.
In May 2015 East Lothian Food and Drink businesses in partnership with East Lothian Council applied for and were successful in being awarded a seedcorn grant to develop a Food and Drink BID in East Lothian. Described by The Herald newspaper as 'a ground breaking scheme' the now operational East Lothian Food and Drink BID (approved by ballot in June 2016) is probably the first of its kind in the world. Further information can be found here with the website for East Lothian Food and Drink BID available here.
A BID partnership can help deliver these aims and objectives, businesses and the public sector working together to develop and grow the local food and drink businesses and contribute to growing the Scottish economy.
Food and Drink BIDs can tackle issues such as:
- Umbrella branding
- Food and drink trails
- Sales development
- Export sales development
- Product development
- Website and social media
- Marketing, promotion, PR
- Warehousing, distribution and routes to market
- Accessing project funding
- Waste and recycling
- Environmental improvements
- Improved asset management
- Group procurement, and
- Give a strong and unified voice for business
The BID sustainable financial model delivers a funding mechanism over a maximum period of five years which allows local businesses to address projects, issues and concerns that are affecting the performance of their business, area or sector by delivering activities and services that make a difference and bring about improvement.
A BID provides security of finance and additional finance to food and drink organisations and bodies.
This will allow the organisation to better plan and manage its operation, delivering positive benefits for the businesses whilst making certain that they have a fundamental role in the development and improvement of the food and drink sector in Scotland.
The BIDs partnership can also:
- Provide clarity of vision, leadership and strategic focus to food and drink businesses
- Harness the drive, initiative and involvement of the private sector
- Act as a catalyst for private sector investment by raising investor confidence
- Deliver additional investment and funding
- Speed up the pace of sector development and service delivery
- Maximise the use of public sector assets and support
- Ensure that budgets work harder and smarter, delivering on marketing, sector issues and concerns whilst contributing to sector Ø Growth and development of the food & drink sector and tourism & visitor market nationally