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New plan will boost Fife’s food and drink industry

Bowhouse in Anstruther is part of Fife’s rich food and drink sector.
Bowhouse in Anstruther is part of Fife’s rich food and drink sector.

A new plan aims to untap the potential of Fife’s rich food and drink sector.

Councillors have approved a strategy which aims to boost the local industry on the national and international stage.

It will involve working with large global businesses located in Fife, while seeking to increase the capacity of small and micro-businesses.

Food and drink is seen as being key to economic growth in Fife, especially in rural areas, with the potential to supply more produce to local, national and international market places, putting the kingdom on the map for food and drink globally.

Tourism plays an important role within the sector, with visitors from all over the world coming to Fife to enjoy the quality food and drink that the area has to offer.

With the importance of so-called destination experiences growing, the council has a role to play to support supply chain opportunities.

The new plan, running until 2023, aims to realise this potential and provide a significant boost to the Fife economy.

A recent economic development capability study also revealed the sector’s strength is a major factor in the health of other economic sectors, such as manufacturing, retail and tourism, and is a significant contributor to rural communities.

Economy, tourism, strategic planning and transportation convener, Labour councillor Altany Craik, said: “The council and its partners are committed to building on Fife’s strengths and will work with national agencies, including Scotland Food and Drink, to promote Fife’s food and drink capability.

Altany Craik.

“The new action plan will ensure that business support is available from Fife Council and its partners to ensure that Fife food and drink companies, of all sizes, are fully supported.”

Mr Craik said that the local authority and its partners remained “fluid and agile” and committed to supporting businesses in the face of turbulent economic times, and external factors, such as Brexit and other unknown trade issues.

“We are proactively working to raise awareness with businesses about possible impacts of a new trading relationship to encourage them to engage in the Prepare for Brexit campaign, and access the self-assessment toolkit guidance, and associated grant funding.”

Some £135,000 from the economic development budget will be allocated annually to support the new plan.

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