The North East and Forfar New Entrants to Farming groups joined together to discuss adding value to their farm produce. Guest speaker and food marketing ‘guru’, Kerry Allison, from SAC Consulting led the group through an information packed and interactive evening discussing food and drink trends, marketing, provenance, innovation, product development, branding and funding/support for projects on a small and large scale.
Kerry stressed that the food and drink sector is Scotland’s best performing major sector, within which the Scottish Government have set a target to more than double its worth in the next 10 years. Kerry also spoke about how farm businesses are well placed to capitalise on this by entering the food and drink industry through a variety of routes directly supplying straight to consumers, retail outlets, food service or distributers.
Through the discussions and with direction from Kerry it was felt that the following points are part of the success of many food and drink businesses:
- Your story
- Unique Selling Point (USP)
In addition, Kerry talked through how important it is to discuss your ideas with others to ensure its success. She suggested seeking support, which is available through the channels below (although this is not an exhaustive list):
- Connect Local (food & drink marketing advice)
- Farm Advisory Service (FAS)
- Entrepreneurial-spark (designed to develop the business owner to drive business success)
- Local Business Gateway
Overall it was a very informative and interactive meeting, with attendees picking up a large amount of information they can put into practice on their own farms.
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