Set to launch today, The Academy is the first major investment from Scotland Food & Drink Partnership’s £5m recovery plan and aimed to support more than 200 Scottish businesses.
Open to food and drink business of all sizes and disciplines, the Academy is a series of three programmes designed to help firms build their brands, thrive, and compete. It is being delivered by the partnership and Levercliff Associates.
The first of the three programmes, Seeding Growth, is designed to help companies maximise their local markets with a view of expanding in the wider Scottish and UK markets.
The second, Accelerating Growth, is aimed at established businesses targeting advancement within the UK market, while the third, Commercial Excellence, will tackle building excellence in sales and negotiation.
Recovering from COVID and Brexit
Lucy Husband (pictured), market development and business engagement director at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “While we don’t know how long we’ll be facing the existing challenges of COVID-19 restrictions and Brexit, food and drink businesses need to focus on growth if the sector is going to successfully recover.
“The significant investment into The Academy means that we will be able to support over 200 businesses over the next two and half years, providing them with the practical tools for growth and success. It also aims to bring a renewed sense of positivity for businesses when it comes to growing their brand and will deliver real change that’s rooted in the here and now.”
The Academy is open to all food and drink businesses in Scotland. Members of Scotland Food & Drink, as well as members of Scotland Food & Drink Partnership, will receive a special discount.
‘Sustainable and resilient supply chain’
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism Fergus Ewing added: “The Academy will help to build a sustainable and resilient supply chain ready to trade in UK and International markets. Scotland is home to much of the world’s greatest produce and we must do all we can to protect and promote it.
“I know that the last year has been particularly difficult with Brexit and COVID each taking their toll on many businesses. It might feel difficult to invest time and resource right now but the Academy will provide the tools to future fit their businesses and tackle the challenges that lie ahead.”
Meanwhile, UK distilleries are to benefit from a £10m fund to help them go green by switching to low carbon fuels and to support the creation of new jobs.