Year of Food & Drink in D&G plans for success

Dumfries & Galloway’s food and drink industry will receive a welcome boost this year from a £30,000 Dumfries and Galloway Council led project to encourage food and drink tourism during Scotland’s Year of Food & Drink 2015.

The project, which has been jointly developed by Dumfries and Galloway Council and industry interface DG Food and Drink, was awarded a grant of £15,000 from the Community Food Fund this week, making Dumfries & Galloway one of the first regions in Scotland to confirm a Year of Food & Drink programme of activity.

Titled “Artisan Food Trail & Year of Food and Drink Development” the project is match funded by Dumfries and Galloway Council. It will focus on creating an artisan food trail across the region and supporting the industry to develop a programme of events and activities around the Year of Food & Drink theme months throughout 2015.

Councillor Colin Smyth, Chair of the Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee said:
“Building our local economy is our Council’s number one priority and supporting the food and drink and tourism industry is key to achieving this. Food and drink is Scotland’s largest and most important manufacturing and export industry. The Year of Food & Drink provides us with a perfect platform to showcase the wealth of food and drink related tourism experiences in Dumfries and Galloway and ensure our region’s profile in these key sectors is boosted. I therefore welcome this initiative and I look forward to seeing the food and drink and tourism industries embrace the opportunities that will emerge from this project.”

Patrick Hughes of Think Local, the national organisation that champions Scotland’s local food, said:
“It is really encouraging, especially in the Year of Food and Drink, to see food and drink producers from across Dumfries & Galloway working together support the development of an artisan food and drink trail for the benefit of visitors to the region.

“Visitors to Scotland are increasingly looking for unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences and by using the artisan food and drink trail they will be able to discover their own experiences in Dumfries & Galloway.”

The new project is part of wide ranging series of activities to increase the growth of Dumfries & Galloway’s food and drink sector during 2015, which will also see Dumfries and Galloway Council deliver specialist food and drink photography workshops, support Dumfries & Galloway Farmers’ & Community Markets Association, develop a Food & Drink Growth Strategy and hold a food and drink takeover of the regional tourism conference later this year.

It also dovetails with food and drink tourism activities undertaken by other organisations, such as VisitScotland who hosted a foodie press visit to Dumfries & Galloway last weekend, designed to put food tourism in Dumfries & Galloway in the spotlight.

Lorna Young of DG Food and Drink said:
“Perhaps more than any other region in Scotland, Dumfries & Galloway’s food and drink and tourism industries are closely intertwined, with some of our most popular visitor attractions, such as Cocoabean Chocolate Factory, Cream o’ Galloway, Annandale Distillery and Loch Arthur providing opportunities for visitors to enjoy unique and unforgettable food and drink experiences.

“This project is important because it will provide a framework within which food and drink and tourism businesses can work together, develop events and activities and promote those activities to members of the public. Year of Food & Drink is Dumfries & Galloway’s opportunity to shine, encouraging us to look at innovative ways of boosting two important sectors of our local economy.”

Dumfries & Galloway’s Year of Food & Drink activities are being co-ordinated by DG Food and Drink. Businesses who want to participate in the Artisan Food Trail and other activities should contact [email protected] or sign up to receive communications from www.dgfoodanddrink.org

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