SCOTLAND Food and Drink (SFD) has announced that two new graduates will be joining teams at large scale food businesses.

Catherine Campbell has joined Bidfood’s Edinburgh office and will focus on supplier development and commercial output. She will graduate this month with a degree in Rural Business Management from Scottish Rural University College (SRUC) in Edinburgh.

Hannah Beddie will fill a similar position at Brakes Scotland, looking after 10 suppliers in her first year. Beddie completed her degree in Business Studies at Edinburgh Napier University and will be based at Brakes Scotland offices in Bathgate.

The two roles will facilitate support provided by SFD to help SMEs reach their target consumer, bringing new products to market and growing scale and sales in their business.

The two graduate roles will also provide supplier development support to ensure a pipeline of new suppliers and products for the foodservice operator, bringing product to market more quickly and allowing greater flexibility for risk in testing new product development with customers.

A new UK market strategy is now being finalised by the SFD Partnership. It will drive new growth opportunities for Scottish suppliers as well as build their capability.

Lucy Husband, UK market development director at SFD said: “Scotland Food and Drink has grown a huge amount over the last 10 years and we’ve got big ambitions to continue to unlock growth opportunities for Scottish businesses in the UK. I am really looking forward to leading the next generation of UK market development work at SFD and Catherine and Hannah will play an important role in that within their placements.”

Beddie said: “The vision and objective of the partnership between SFD and Brakes Scotland is exciting and ambitious. This role is an incredible opportunity to develop my own skills and abilities and also make Scottish produce a more prominent player in markets. I feel so lucky to have started my dream job so quickly after completing my degree, food and drink have always been a massive part of my life and now I have the opportunity to build a career doing something I love.”

Campbell: added: “I am absolutely thrilled and delighted to have the opportunity to work with Bidfood. I’ve had a busy first few weeks with the team and have visited the headquarters in Slough and had the opportunity to shadow some fantastic and experienced employees. After my training, I will be a specialist in fresh meat as well as beer, spirits and wine, which is very exciting. I am looking forward to working closely with Scottish suppliers and helping businesses grow and find new opportunities within UK markets.”

SFD’s Ambition 2030 strategy is focused on growing Scottish food and drink sales across the UK, an area of work SFD has led for several years, working closely with major retailers and foodservice companies.