Scotland’s food and drink sector has been given a double boost with the signing of two strategic partnerships between leading trade organisations and Clydesdale Bank.
Clydesdale Bank has announced the continuation of its successful partnership with Scotland Food and Drink which began in 2013. The innovative agreement was established last year to allow both organisations to work collaboratively to help support Scotland’s growing food and drink sector.
The news comes as Scotland Food and Drink prepares for its annual Excellence Awards on 22nd May, when the industry’s leaders and high achievers will be recognised during a gala event at Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre.
Stuart McCallum, head of food and drink for Clydesdale Bank in Scotland, said: “The success of the first year of our innovative partnership with Scotland Food and Drink means it was an easy decision to renew our relationship for at least another year.
“Scotland has a proud tradition of producing fine food and drink, with many of our products and brands recognised and appreciated around the world. The sector has grown during the last year and the renewal of this partnership will allow us to support local, Scottish businesses in identifying further growth opportunities in foreign markets.”
James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food and Drink: “We are hugely ambitious for our food and drink sector and are aiming for a 65% increase in total turnover in the sector during the next decade. That includes a target to double food exports from Scotland.
“Scotland Food & Drink has been a partnership body since day one, working with government, its agencies and all the major trade bodies in the sector to drive growth. The partnership we have developed over the last year with the Clydesdale Bank is a great fit as they share our ambitions to support business growth in our industry.”
Clydesdale Bank has further strengthened its support for the sector by announcing a similar partnership with Scottish Bakers. This new partnership will be formally launched at the Scottish Bakers Annual Conference and Awards on the 16th & 17th May."
The event is also part of Clydesdale Bank’s Business Week which runs from 12th – 16th May. It sees more than 250 customer-focused events staged at the Bank’s UK-wide network of Business and Private Banking Centres.
Clydesdale Bank’s Business Week will allow businesses of all sizes and industries to come together, discuss growth opportunities and examine the issues which matter most to them and their customers.
Scottish Bakers, a key stakeholder of Scotland Food and Drink, believe that a stand-alone partnership will deliver additional benefits to an important sub-sector of Scotland’s food and drink industry.
Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of Scottish Bakers, said: “We are delighted with the business advice and financial support that the Clydesdale Bank is offering to our members across Scotland. This year they have also sponsored the award for the best marketing initiative by a bakery in Scotland at the Scottish Baker of the Year Awards.
“This partnership enables us to encourage a large number of our members to take part in our events and initiatives, and the enthusiasm and commitment that bakers have shown is significant. We could not have done this without Clydesdales Bank’s support.”
Stuart McCallum added: “We have a strong appetite to fulfil our commitment to support strong and ambitious Scottish companies. Across the country, some of the businesses which have the strongest ties to their local communities are bakers.
“There is a heritage of successful bakeries in Scotland and this partnership means we can play a key role in delivering the advice which will enable the sector to thrive and continue that tradition.”
Both partnerships will enable Clydesdale Bank to further develop its understanding of the challenges and opportunities for growth which face the sector. The Bank will also be well positioned to explain the funding options which are available to the organisations’ members in order to make the most of those opportunities.