More than 15 established and new start food businesses based across Dumfries and Galloway, from Langholm to the Machars, are looking forward to a successful future after taking part in a 10 month business development programme organised by Dumfries and Galloway Council’s part ERDF funded South of Scotland Business Competitive Project.
Delivered by industry experts SAC Food & Drink, the immersive programme encouraged businesses to benchmark their products against market leaders, explained new labelling legislation, explored marketing and gave support and advice on financial planning and pricing. The businesses also visited trade shows and some of Scotland’s leading farm shops to identify trading opportunities.
Councillor Colin Smyth, Chair of the Council's Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee said: “This has been a very worthwhile initiative and I welcome the positive feedback from the businesses that took part in the programme. Food and drink plays a vital role in our region’s rural economy, and initiatives like this encourage our existing food and drink businesses, and new start-ups, to realise their full potential.”
Patrick Hughes of SAC Food & Drink said:
“The Business Development Programme was aimed at providing the participants with some practical tools to help with their future development but the real benefit is how the businesses listen and learn from each other.
“It’s been very rewarding to see how the participants’ business plans have developed over a relatively short period of time and to see such enthusiasm in their aspirations for onward development.”
Rising local food star Sheena Horner of Galloway Chillies commented that the course was ‘definitely worth attending’, whilst Jade Norcross of pop up restaurant Scrumptious said ‘every session gave us key points to consider’.
The Dumfries & Galloway Food and Drink Development Programme was funded by the South of Scotland Business Competitive Project, which is part funded by the ERDF.