Shetland Food and Drink

Shetland Food and Drink

Shetland Food and Drink’s mission is to increase the production, profile and profitability of Shetland food and drink. By providing public-facing promotion, quality assurance and collaboration opportunities, we are leading our sector towards increased turnover and responsible, profitable growth. We currently have 85 members and represent everyone from individuals who are passionate about Shetland produce to multi-million-pound businesses.

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 Scotland Food & Drink funding awarded to Shetland Food and Drink has been used to pay our manager’s fee. The manager is responsible for co-ordinating all aspects of our regional food group’s activities. These activities are, in turn, aligned with national and local strategic objectives. In the Covid response phase we have focused on stimulating demand and supporting businesses to capitalise on demand in accordance with the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership Recovery Plan. We are also working to improve member business marketing, stimulate member business diversification and improve the quality of Shetland food and drink production to contribute to the ‘Food Tourism Scotland’ plan. Record SFAD membership levels, a doubling in the number of new catering businesses established in Shetland over the last 12 months, and continued member business national award success are evidence of the impact of our activities.

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

The main beneficiaries of SFAD activities are our member businesses. Since we received funding in Autumn 2020 members have received film training, signed-up as quality assurance scheme pilot companies, participated in the Taste of Shetland Online Festival 2020, been pointed towards numerous sources of financial support, appeared in and on national and local media outlets, had online business listings written for them, and sold ever more products. Still to come in 2021 is our inaugural online member networking event, opportunities to hire the new Taste of Shetland trailer, food tourism learning journeys through Shetland and Orkney, Shetland Wool Week 2021 online promotion opportunities and the Taste of Shetland Festival 2021.

What are your goals and plans for 2021?

Remaining 2021 goals and plans are to deliver on our quality and digital engagement objectives, and on our face-to-face engagement and food and drink tourism objectives as far as Covid-19 allows. We operate to a monthly activity schedule which was developed from our four organisational objectives. This ensure that all our weekly actions build towards SFAD's end goals.

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

SFAD activities are already well supported by our core funders (Shetland Islands Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scotland Food & Drink), event funders, board, corporate sponsors, local media and the community at large. The biggest help that anyone can give any regional food group is to shop locally for food and drink.

Find out more about Shetland Food and Drink by visiting their website here.