A BUMPER celebration of one of Scotland’s best-performing industries gets under way today as the annual Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight marks its 10th year of championing Scottish produce.

Running until September 15, the event will showcase and support the companies, brands and people who are putting Scotland’s larder in the spotlight, enabling them to take advantage of the growing consumer demand for Scottish food and drink.

Since the first Fortnight, Scottish food and drink has grown to become a £15 billion industry, a record-high.

This year’s celebration will include events up and down the country, such as Stranraer Oyster Festival, Spirit of Speyside, Foraging Fortnight, Jocktoberfest and Scotland Food & Drink’s AGM and conference.

Food & Drink Fortnight is the country’s biggest food and drink celebration and is a focus for companies to encourage more people than ever to buy, eat and promote Scottish products.

Fiona Richmond, head of regional food at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “This is a special year as we mark 10 years of delivering the annual celebration of our fantastic national larder and the people who produce, cook, serve and sell it.

“With major national initiatives – including the UK Market Development Strategy and Food Tourism Scotland action plan – well under way, this year’s Fortnight plays an even greater part in increasing the sourcing, selling and promoting of local produce, which is essential if we are to reach our collective target of achieving a sector worth £30bn by 2030.

“Whatever part you play – a producer, chef, retailer, caterer or someone who loves local food, there are lots of ways to join in and further information, ideas and inspiration can be found on our website.”

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Food & Drink Fortnight is a welcome opportunity to bring Scotland’s food and drink industry together, along with producers and consumers from Scotland and across the globe.

“The industry has gone from strength to strength in recent years and is well on its way to doubling in value by 2030, to £30bn. Brexit threatens to undo that progress, and could have a major impact on a sector that relies heavily on frictionless trade with our neighbours. It’s more important than ever before that the sector comes together to get more people to produce and consume Scottish products.”

This year’s Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight was launched at the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh. Its head of events and hospitality, Wendy Neave, added: “We are celebrating with the launch of a new whisky and food tasting experience. Tasting Tales is based on the stories of Scotland’s food and drink with our most popular tried and tested food pairings.”

People can follow the conversation around Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight on Twitter by following @scotfooddrink and using the hashtag #ScotFoodFort19 and find out what’s on and how they can get involved at fooddrinkfort.scot