Network Information


Monday 12th January, Norwood House Hotel

The third joint Food & Drink and Tourism Sector group meeting & networking lunch was held on the 12th January and kindly hosted by Norwood Hall Hotel.

The agenda and minutes from the meeting can be accessed below

-     Agenda

-     Minutes

The date of the next meeting has still to be confirmed but is likely to be in May.  Any queries please contact

Monday 17th November, Thistle Caledonian Hotel

The second joint Food & Drink and Tourism Sector group meeting & networking lunch was held on the 17th November.


Since this meeting there have been several significant updates

- The partnership bid to the VisitScotland Year of Food & Drink Growth Fund was successfully approved on Wednesday 25th November and has secured £20K in funding. A meeting between the partners and VisitScotland has been arranged for the 10th December to discuss the next steps.

- The sector group funding proposal, to provide £5K towards the matched funding for the above proposal, was approved by the Chamber Board on Wednesday 25th November.

- Philip Smith, VisitScotland has been appointed as the chair of the chamber Tourism sector group and will be co-opted on to the Policy Council to represent the sector at future meetings.

The agenda, minutes, references documents and all the key links to information about the Year of Food & Drink can be can be found below.

This includes

  • Agenda
  • Minutes
  • VisitScotland Year of Food & Drink Growth Fund application summary
  • Scotland Food & Drink toolkit briefing note on Year of Food & Drink
  • Aberdeenshire Council supplier briefing note 
  • Scotland’s larder will be in the spotlight once again in 2015 as, in partnership with Scottish Government, VisitScotland and EventScotland, we celebrate the Year of Food and Drink, hot on the heels of the year of Homecoming and the triumphant sporting events where quality Scottish produce took centre-stage. The aim of the Year is to mark, highlight and promote Scotland’s abundant, quality produce to our people and visitors, demonstrating that we are a destination for delicious food and drink and its key role in our economic growth and cultural development.

    • We want the food and drink industry, whether producers, retailers, caterers or wholesalers, food networks, street food traders, for example, to get involved and make the most of the Year for their business and our flourishing sector, taking advantage of the enhanced focus on our larder and people behind it.

    • We have developed a series of Monthly Themes, from Traditional Foods in January to Summer Fruits and Berries in July to Hearty and Heartwarming in November, to inspire and guide you in your events and activities.  The attached Industry Toolkit contains all the themes and lots of hints and tips about getting involved. This complements the tourism-focused toolkit available here:

    • Fiona Richmond, Project Manager, Scotland Food & Drink, is on hand to support and guide your activities

    • There will be a huge PR & Marketing campaign led by VisitScotland with input from partners, and Scotland Food & Drink will be dedicating specific resource to Year of Food and Drink communications

    • A Year of Food and Drink page on the Scotland Food & Drink website will be launched early November as a focal point for the industry

    • Public events taking place during the Year will be listed on

    • Funding for public events is available via the EventScotland Year of Food and Drink fund. Funding is only available now for events being held July – Dec, with an application deadline of 6th Feb

Please note the finals monthly Year of Food & Drink themes are as follows:





Traditional Foods

Building on the New Year traditions of steak pies and shortbread, through to Burns Night with haggis


The Food of Love

Foods associated with Valentine’s Day including oysters / other seafoods, steak and chocolates.


Brewing & Distilling

Celebrating Scottish beers and spirits (gin, vodka, liqueurs)


Award Winning Food

Focus on Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards entries and previous winners


Whisky Month

Retained focus on whisky as in previous years.


The Future of Food

Highlighting youth development including RHS and end of school year, with focus on skills and innovation


Summer Berries & Fruits

Particular promotion of berries and Pick Your Own


Delicious Dairy

Yoghurts & ice cream; cream; milk, butter & cheeses



Building on Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, events and products that celebrate provenance and the produce on our doorstep


Sustainable Shores

A focus on fishing, seafood and salmon with a sustainability at its core


Hearty & Heartwarming

Especially meat dishes, vegetables and grains (including barley, oats and rapeseed) and broths and stews


Grand Finale

Premium foods for Christmas including cheeses, relishes and pate


Key points from the Scotland Food & Drink briefing on support available


Other useful links

All businesses are once again encourage to engage with the Taste Tour Best quality assurance scheme now in place with VisitScotland details of which can be found on their website

Link to the news Aberdeenshire Larder story on Aberdeenshire Council website

Direct link to the online version of the current Aberdeenshire Larder




Wednesday 27th August, Ardoe House Hotel

This meeting was a joint Food & Drink and Tourism sector meeting and he main topic on the agenda was ‘the Year of Food & Drink 2015 and how we as individual companies and as a region get the most benefit from this.  A copy of the agenda is here.


Informal presentations and updates were provided by

- Elizabeth Mathie, Grampian Food Forum –

- Philip Smith, VisitScotland -

- Peter Medley, VisitAberdeen –

- Elaine Booth, Area Tourism Partnership -

The updates included information on the joint submission for VisitScotland Food & Drink Growth fund money to help provide umbrella marketing for all events and activities being held in the area next year.


Useful links to more information on how to get funding and support are as follows:

- There is a specific EventScotland Fund to support events - either to enhance your existing event with Food & Drink activity or for new events:

- There is a business toolkit providing useful advice and information on how businesses can get involved in the Year of Food & Drink:

- More information on the Food & Drink Growth Fund can be found at:


Philip also provided a VisitScotland briefing document on plans for promoting the Year of Food & Drink 2015 and this can be found here. 


A key part of this is to have Monthly Themes which are intended to act as a hook on which to base industry engagement.  These are currently under development but the draft outline is as follows.


A further discussion on events already happening and how we get the most out of the Year of Food & Drink was held and the detail can be found in the here.

The next meeting will again be a joint event between the two group and will be held on Monday the 3rd November 11.45 – 2,30pm at Norwood Hall Hotel,  this will have a formal meeting and also include a light lunch to provide the opportunity for some informal networking.


If you require any more information please contact


For more Food & Drink news, please click here.

Library of information

Food & Drink Survey 2014

In 2013 the Chamber’s Research Unit partnered with Aberdeenshire Council, Moray Council, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Moray Chamber of Commerce to produce a comprehensive study of the food and drink industry in the North-east. 

The report sets out baseline statistics for future monitoring purposes and comparison with national data. The survey covers the entire supply chain of the food and drink industry and can be downloaded here.

Grampian Food & Drink Survey 2011

Grampian Food Forum 2012 Annual Report

Scotland Food & Drink report


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Get Involved

If you would like to be part of the Food & Drink Network, please contact Mary Holland, Membership Network Manager, on 01224 343903 or email for more information.

As a member of the Chamber, you can also get involved by sending information on Food & Drink related news and events to for inclusion on our Food & Drink Network page and monthly Food & Drink updates.