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Putting DG on the menu

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By Fiona Reid
Front
Putting DG on the menu

A NEW food and drink strategy has been launched for the region, with a focus on supporting collaboration, innovation, job creation and inclusive growth across the sector.

The first of its kind, it highlights food tourism and skills development as particular opportunities for Dumfries and Galloway and sets an ambitious target to double the value of the food and drink industry locally to £2.5 billion by 2030.

Dumfries and Galloway Council developed the strategy after widespread consultation and it has now been adopted as policy. Commenting, Councillor Archie Dryburgh said: “We have set ourselves an ambitious target but one that I believe is achievable. If we are to unlock the economic potential of our region, we must start with our most valuable economic sector, with the public and private sectors working collaboratively to fulfil our region’s potential.”

He was joined at the launch by trainee chef Morag Stewart, who said: “I’m really pleased to help launch this strategy as it is all about the future of my industry. I’m going in to the second year of my apprenticeship and I have already learned so much. It’s good to see the council supporting the food and drink industry and highlighting the training and job opportunities in it for young people in Dumfries and Galloway.”

And it was also welcomed by James Withers, of Scotland Food and Drink as an “important and exciting development”. He added: “I believe this plan can now unlock the region’s full potential, with all the benefits that will bring to communities and the local economy. Collaboration is a central theme of the strategy; it will be central to success. I look forward to working with partners in the region to drive the industry forward over the next few years.”

Food and drink is already Dumfries and Galloway’s largest, fastest growing and most valuable economic sector, with an annual turnover of £1.2 billion; accounting for 25 per cent of all private sector economic activity. The sector includes primary production, such as agriculture and fishing, through to small food producers.

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