Tasty year on the menu for Fife food firms

An event near Elie last week has provided food and drink businesses in Fife with a healthy appetite for the year ahead.

More than 60 people attended Ardross Farm Shop to find out how their firms could benefit from a year-long celebration of Scotland's natural larder.

Organised by VisitScotland, Food from Fife and the East of Scotland Seafood project, 'Our Seafood in Fife' was aimed at tourism and food and drink businesses across the Kingdom.

Designed to inspire and inform the region's tourism industry about how it could attract visitors during the 2015's Year of Food and Drink, the event offered one-to-one menu surgery appointments and the chance to hear from case studies using local produce to increase and retain business.

Launched by Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment, the Year of Food and Drink 2015 will build on momentum generated in 2014, increase awareness of Scottish produce and enhance Scotland's global reputation as a land of food and drink.

It's estimated that £16.7 million is spent on food and drink every year by UK visitors staying overnight in Fife.

To help tourism businesses make the most of the opportunity 2015 represents, VisitScotland has also created a bespoke free toolkit.

Hosted on the national tourism organisation's corporate website, visitscotland.org and available for download, it contains resources such as logos, marketing guidance, funding information and general advice to ensure businesses across the country can cater for an influx of foodie fans.

Viv Collie, co-ordinator of the East of Scotland Seafood Project, and a co-founder of Food from Fife, said: “There has been a very enthusiastic response from local businesses to the event and I hope it has provided valuable information for them.”

Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland's regional partnerships director, told the Mail: “Fife is home to award-winning fish and seafood and the Year of Food and Drink is all about showcasing our natural larder.

“We hope this event helped equip businesses with the ingredients they need to cater for customers during 2015 and beyond.

“With food and drink tourism worth millions to the local economy every year, there is a real financial incentive for businesses to take part.”