Growing a Food Business in a Recession - SRUC Offers Practical Advice

It is no easy task in today's financial climate to improve business profitability but Scotland's Rural College is running a workshop to help food and drink businesses do just that. By boosting their green credentials, or through promoting the healthiness of their products, businesses can grow their consumer base and this workshop – run in partnership with the Scottish Government and its other research providers –  will show them how.

Among those sharing their expertise and experience in building food and drink businesses will be Donnie Maclean from Eat Balanced, a company that sells nutritionally balanced healthy pizzas, and Andrew Niven, Insights Manager at Scotland Food and Drink, who will speak about the business opportunities promoting healthy and sustainable eating offer. Both speakers will provide practical, real-life examples of food and drink businesses that have benefited from improving the healthiness and sustainability of their products. The examples will help stimulate delegates to try some ideas in growing their own business.

Colette Backwell, Director of the Scottish Food and Drink Federation, and Alan Rowe from the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, will explain the type of financial and advisory support businesses can access to help them build up their balance sheets. Again, practical industry examples will illustrate the many benefits this support can bring.

A group discussion session has been planned to debate the opportunities and obstacles facing those in primary production or manufacturing who want to capitalise on the health and environment agendas to boost business. It will be a chance to share ideas with industry and Scottish Government representatives and Charles Bestwick Scottish, Government Research Programme Co-ordinator, will be on hand to help find solutions to the challenges today’s businesses face.

Dr Simon Turner, the event organiser, says: “Consumers want food and drink products that are good for them and good for the planet. Innovative Scottish food and drink businesses have demonstrated the financial benefits that can be gained from meeting these demands. This workshop will give business owners the chance to learn from practical examples given by leading industry speakers; they will leave packed with new ideas of how to build their business through promoting the healthiness of their products, their green credentials, or both.

This event is free and lunch will be provided (when booking please mention any dietary requirements). For catering purposes, please book a place by contacting Simon Turner at or calling 0131 535 3097.

Published on 24 April 2013 in Food, health and wellbeing