Forth Valley Food & Drink

Forth Valley Food & Drink

Forth Valley Food & Drink promotes the area’s rich local larder. Our growing network includes a diverse range of organisations from farms, breweries, restaurants and café’s, to producers, social enterprises and community growing projects.

You were awarded funding from Scotland Food & Drink in 2020. What have you used this funding for so far and how has it helped the development of the region’s food and drink?

The funding has helped us with the costs of running the network, from co-ordination, PR and photography to website and filming. It has also helped support our annual Food and Drink festival, which attracts thousands of visitors to Forth Valley every October. We’ve also run a number of marketing campaigns over the past year from our celebration of ‘local food heroes’ during the height of the pandemic to our latest ‘picnic trail’ encouraging people to pop local produce in their basket. We’re constantly looking for new ways to innovate and keep our rich local larder and the people who run it in the spotlight.

Who has benefited from these initiatives and are there any stand-out success stories?

Our annual Food Festival is one of the key highlights of our calendar. Despite the challenges of Covid-19, our two week festival in October 2020 was a great success. We ran a daily programme of online and socially distant events: from foodie podcasts with Forth Environment Link and pumpkin picking at Arnprior Farm, to online kitchen medicine workshops with Trossachs Wild Apothecary and family friendly cook-alongs, including meatball making with Stirling’s Mamma Mia restaurant. During the festival, over 2300 people also tuned into two cook-alongs broadcast live on Facebook from Bannockburn House.

What are your goals and plans for 2021?

We’ll be focussing on growing our membership and collaborating with local and national partners to develop Forth Valley as a must-visit food and drink destination. We’ve just created a food trail to shine a spotlight on our rich local larder and will continue to evolve our flagship event, Forth Valley Food & Drink Festival which takes place every October. This year’s festival will be a real celebration and an opportunity for food and drink businesses to engage with and thank the customers who have supported them throughout the pandemic.

How can others support what you do, and ensure the local region continues to thrive?

You can support us by joining our network, participating in our festival and buying local produce wherever possible.

By signing up, members benefit from:

  • A dedicated profile on our Forth Valley Food and Drink website.
  • The chance to feature in our #ScotlandLovesLocal Spring 2021 campaign highlighting local food and drink businesses; a map highlighting the best places to pick up local produce and picnic spots.
  • PR support to promote collaborative activities that grow Forth Valley’s food and drink profile.
  • The opportunity to get involved in dedicated projects, including the annual Forth Valley Food & Drink Festival.
  • Networking and training events as well as one to one expert advice.
  • Industry and funding updates.
  • Free job adverts and event listings on our website and social media channels.
  • So that we can support our local businesses during Covid-19, annual membership is currently free.

Find out more about Forth Valley Food & Drink by visiting their website here.