The first pan-industry strategy for the Scottish food and drink industry has officially been rolled out following a launch event by trade body Scotland Food & Drink on Friday.
The new strategy recognises the importance of sustainability to the future of the Scottish food and drink industry to deliver its growth ambition. It aims to drive the industry to become environmentally and economically sustainable, while promoting the sharing of best practice and collaborative working to achieve its objectives across the supply chain.
The Scottish food and drink industry has been identified as a priority sector in delivering sustainable economic growth. The industry target of £12.5bn by 2017 will be surpassed early given the current value of £12.4bn, while exports have grown by more than 50% in the last five years.
The Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland welcomed the strategy and the work Scotland Food & Drink and its partners will be doing to proactively encourage the industry to realise the benefits of sustainability in their businesses.
The strategy focuses on five core themes, including the efficient use of resources and waste management.
Iain Gulland, Director, Zero Waste Scotland said: “The Scottish food and drink industry has made significant progress in becoming more sustainable through collaborative approaches such as this one and I welcome the new strategy to further the ambition of the sector in what it can do to value resources and make the best use of them.
“With the introduction of new Waste (Scotland) Regulations next year, and the third stage of the Courtauld Commitment set to launch this spring, there’s never been a more important time to consider the way the industry views waste – seeing it not as a problem to be dealt with, but as a valuable resource which could reduce bottom line costs and help meet customers’ expectations around sustainability.
Gulland added that it was essential to provide opportunities to share best practice and reduce waste at all stages of the supply chain. “In providing the industry with access to funding and help, advice and training Zero Waste Scotland can do this and we are keen to ensure that any firm in the sector can benefit from our support,” he said.