Industry leadership organisation Scotland Food & Drink and Clydesdale Bank have entered into a strategic partnership designed to help grow the Scottish food and drink sector.
Scotland Food & Drink works to grow the value and reputation of the industry and Clydesdale Bank is in a position to underpin this work, contributing through the support it offers businesses. The partnership builds on an existing working relationship which delivers benefits for the wider industry.
The partnership is a shared knowledge approach with a sharing of facilities and support for headline SF&D events through 2013. This includes the Scotland Food & Drink Annual Conference in March and the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards in May. Other events are also in the planning.
Access to finance is vital to the success of food and drink companies and Scotland Food & Drink’s commitment to helping the industry address this issue is demonstrated by its pairing with Clydesdale Bank. The Bank’s economic expertise and insight will add value to the organisation’s three hundred plus members.
James Withers, Scotland Food & Drink Chief Executive, said: “This strategic partnership with Clydesdale Bank builds on our strong existing relationship. Clydesdale Bank shares our belief in the tremendous growth potential of the food and drink sector in this country, in spite of the challenging economic climate we live in.
“For companies to realise their individual ambitions, and for us to grow the value of the sector as a whole, the support of banks such as Clydesdale Bank, which understands the opportunities presented by both domestic and export markets, will be crucial. This collaboration will provide hugely valuable support for our key events this year. It will also help us in our quest to enable Scottish food and drink businesses to become more economically sustainable and to exploit the commercial opportunities in front of them.”
The partnership was announced during a visit to Clyde Valley Tomatoes, a business banking customer of Clydesdale Bank and member of Scotland Food & Drink.
In November 2012, Clyde Valley Tomatoes signed a funding arrangement with Clydesdale Bank which will allow it to grow 140 tonnes of tomatoes a year in purpose-built glasshouses which had lain empty for over a year.
David Craig, Director of Clyde Valley Tomatoes, said his business was already benefiting from the partnership: “There are a number of important ingredients needed for Scottish food and drink companies to succeed. Expert advice, routes to markets and access to finance are all essential components and this partnership between two strong advocates of our industry will create opportunities for businesses. We are already seeing the benefits of a joined up approach because both organisations understand our business and can work together to ensure we take advantage of sustainable growth opportunities.”
Stuart McCallum, Head of Food and Drink for Clydesdale Bank in Scotland, said: “This is an exciting time to be involved in the Scottish food and drink sector as the industry capitalises on strong and increasing demand from home and abroad. Scotland is blessed with a rich variety of food and drink businesses and Scottish produce is known around the world for its high quality and importance placed on provenance.
“Despite the challenges presented by prevailing economic conditions, the sector has high growth ambitions which we are proud to support. However, the industry is well-placed to capitalise on the demand for high quality and traceability consistently delivered by Scottish food and drink producers.”