Over 140 delegates from across the food and drink sector gathered in Edinburgh for our annual September conference in association with The Scotsman newspaper.
Leading figures from hospitality, tourism and food manufacturing took part in the event which was the biggest and best so far.
The focus this year was on skills and innovation and the part they play in the continuing growth of the sector. Scotland Food and Drink Chief Executive James Withers kicked things off by looking to the future and predicting potential changes in the way we eat and drink.
Scottish Food Commission Chair Shirley Spear was next to speak, updating on progress so far and what still needs to be done. “Think before you eat” was her core message.
The focus then switched to skills and Scottish Tourism Alliance chair Stephen Leckie lifted the lid on some of the methods used to inspire and involve his thousand plus staff across the Crieff Hydro hotel group.
We then paused for our now famous conference brunch. On the menu from The Scottish Cafe this year, porridge, frittata, mini hot dogs with free range pork sausages and home made chutney followed by pancakes served with autumn fruits.
That delicious spread gave everyone an appetite for the second section where Genius Foods founder Lucinda Bruce Gardyne shared her amazing story of innovation and success in the gluten free space.
The star of the BBC series “The Trawlerman” then explained how innovation was helping reduce discards in the fishing industry and get his catch direct to customers, before Eteaket Founder Erica Moore explained how her brand is leading the way taking proper tea to consumers and innovating by even growing tea in her own Edinburgh back garden.
Our food and drink conference is a valuable opportunity for the industry to network and to examine key issues with leading speakers from across the sector. It is kindly sponsored by Bank of Scotland, Anderson Strathearn and Willis Towers Watson.