Quality assurance scheme launched to boost sales for Scottish food and drinks businesses

A NEW initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government has been put together to boost sales for Scottish food and drinks businesses.

The quality assurance scheme will recognise hotels, restaurants, cafes, takeaways, attractions and B&Bs promoting Scottish produce.

The Taste Our Best scheme is a £920,000 joint initiative is expected to boost sales for food and drink businesses by up to 20%.

VisitScotland believe visitors are willing to pay up to 15% more for food of Scottish or local origin, with visitors currently spending around £800 million a year on food and drink here.

The new scheme will replace the current EatScotland food and drink quality assurance scheme, which will be phased out, and will provide businesses with an assessment of their food provision and their menu by qualified assessors.

Those venues meeting the necessary criteria will then gain the award.

Rural Affairs Secretary, Richard Lochhead said, “Scotland’s food and drink is just one of a number of things attracting tourists to our country and we have a wonderful story to tell about its provenance and journey.

“We produce top quality products from our array of amazing raw materials and the industry can capitalise by using this as a unique selling point to visitors from far and wide.”

There is no additional fee for businesses already part of the VisitScotland quality assurance scheme, however, prices have been held at the same level as the previous EatScotland scheme for stand-alone businesses like restaurants, cafes and takeaways.

Coffee shops, tearooms, sandwich shops and takeaways without seats or with limited seating can expect to pay £131, whilst restaurants, pub food, bar food, bistros, cafes, self service restaurants and any other businesses with 16 or more covers can expect to pay £205.

The Scottish Government is funding consumer and industry research, branding development and consumer and industry marketing.

Earlier this week, Scotland’s food and drink industry raised its long-term sales targets after a record 12 months, with industry targets set in 2009 to reach £12.5 billion by 2017 – newly-released figures showed record turnover of more than £13 billion in 2011.

Industry body Scotland Food and Drink has set a new goal of £16.5 billion for 2017, which includes an exports target of £7.1 billion.


Category: News