Clydesdale Bank is to sponsor the business ‘champion of champions’ category at this year’s Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards after renewing its strategic partnership with the trade body.
The Bank is the sponsor of the Business of the Year Award, which recognises an overall victor from the winners of the business categories being announced at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence awards ceremony on Wednesday May 28 at the National Museum for Scotland in Edinburgh.
The strategic partnership between Clydesdale Bank and Scotland Food & Drink was established in 2013 to allow both organisations to collaborate on supporting Scotland’s growing food and drink sector. The new agreement builds on the success of the past two years and offers increased support to food and drink businesses.
As part of the partnership, Clydesdale Bank is hosting a food and drink event with Scotland Food & Drink at the Royal Highland Show in June.
Scotland Food & Drink has also gained free use of conference and meeting room facilities at Clydesdale Bank’s network of Business and Private Banking Centres and has access to the Bank’s Ambassador programme in order to promote the food and drink industry.
The renewed partnership acknowledges the significance of the 2015 Year of Food and Drink in Scotland.
Food and drink is one of Scotland’s key growth sectors, worth over £13 billion to the Scottish economy and employing more than 360,000 people. Scotland Food & Drink aims to grow the value of the industry to £16.5 billion by 2017.
Food and drink businesses supported by Clydesdale Bank include: Glasgow-based Speyside Distillers; Carrs Flour Mills, in Kirkcaldy; Isle of Arran Distillers; Border Biscuits, in Lanarkshire; Browning’s the Bakers, in Ayrshire; frozen seafood group Sco-Fro; and Forres-based Maclean’s Highland Bakery.
Speyside Distillers Company Ltd (SCDL) secured a funding package worth £4.3 million from Clydesdale Bank to support its plans for international expansion, including appointing football legend Michael Owen as a global brand ambassador. Former Manchester United player Owen has a huge following in China, which is a target market for Speyside Distillers.
John McDonough, Director of SCDL, said: “We see the Chinese market as a key territory for us in the coming years with the consumer trend in the country moving towards single malts.
“Clydesdale Bank’s knowledgeable team has been extremely supportive of our international plans, and crucially, understood the value of signing Michael Owen as our global brand ambassador.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Clydesdale Bank to develop our brand and target new markets.”
Scotland Food & Drink Chief Executive James Withers commented: “Clydesdale Bank is a strong supporter of the food and drink industry. Through our partnership with the banking and finance sector we aim to support growth opportunities for food and drink businesses.”
Alastair Christmas, Clydesdale Bank’s Regional Director of Business and Private Banking in Scotland, said: “We welcome the opportunity to partner with Scotland Food & Drink again, especially with 2015 designated the Year of Food and Drink in Scotland.
"Working closely with Scotland Food & Drink has strengthened our knowledge of the sector and helps us to provide unparalleled support to our food and drink customers. We understand the opportunities and challenges faced by the industry and we are perfectly placed to help businesses in the food and drink sector to realise their growth ambitions."