Whilst Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, 1st – 16th September, may have been and gone, it is far from forgotten, and we are still celebrating its success of reaching more than 2.6 million people across social media.

As the annual celebration of Scottish produce and the people who buy, cook, serve, sell and enjoy it, the Fortnight is central to our industry’s Ambition 2030 and drive to secure our future as a country with a thriving food and drink sector worth £30bn by 2030.

A key part of this vision is to make working in the food and drink industry a career of choice, which will help to fill the 27,000 jobs that will be needed by 2022. To that end and, coupled with 2018 being the Year of Young People, our campaign firmly focused on putting the spotlight on the shining young stars of the industry today to encourage and motivate others to look at the opportunities with fresh eyes, and the vast range of possibilities that exist, for people of all ages.

Our amazing group of more than 18 ambassadors, who fronted the campaign, showed the glorious diversity of the sector and just what can be achieved with passion, drive and determination.

From professional, international badminton-player turned coffee retailer, Patrick McHugh, Power Press coffee, to grower and producer of chilli and tomato products, using renewable energy, Ellie Sinclair, VegCo to chocolatier Finlay Macdonald and amazing young chefs, Rory Campbell, Campbell’s and Fraser Cameron, Michelin-starred 21212, their love of the sector, entrepreneurial spirit, enthusiasm and wisdom were an inspiration to us all through the stories they shared during the two week celebration, which you can read here www.fooddrinkfort.scot

Using the hashtag #ScotFoodGoals, we also cast our net wide to encourage participation from retailers, caterers, restaurateurs, chefs, schools & colleges, events, food enthusiasts and many more, to get behind the Fortnight and share their ambitions for the sector and shout about the part they play in the industry’s continued success. Once again, they did us proud, from Brakes and Bidvest to Lidl, Aldi and Waitrose shouting from the rooftops about Scottish produce and young people, to a wealth of chefs sharing their sourcing and cooking tips, from Graeme Pallister, 63 Tay Street; Roy Brett, The Fishmarket; Giovanna Eusebi, Eusebi Deli and Neil Forbes, Café St Honore; our partner organisations such as Seafood Scotland and Quality Meat Scotland and events ranging from the second edition of Stranraer Oyster Festival to Best of the West and Newmilns Food Festival (not least their triumphant Victoria Sponge competition!)

In recognition of their brilliant engagement, we awarded first prize in the business category to The Rookery, Carnoustie and runner-up to The Gin Co-operative and, in the young people category, first prize to Borders College and second to Cumnock Academy.

As a legacy of the campaign, and inspired by the ambassadors themselves, we’ll soon be publishing some top tips to pursuing a career in the sector, so watch this space.

We’ll also continue to share stories from our young people throughout the year – so if you, or anyone you know, have any up your sleeve then please let us know via info@foodanddrink.scot – we would love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, watch this space for news of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight 2019, which will run from Saturday 7th – Sunday 22nd September inclusive. See you then!