Six local businesses flew the flag for Fife’s food and drink sector during a four-day virtual food and drink event, under the auspice of InvestFife, Fife Council’s external branding for Economic Development services.

The businesses, which were awarded funding from Fife Council’s Trade Development Programme to participate in Bread & Jam, spent four days networking, pitching to some of the UK’s largest food and drink retailers and gaining insight into key trends and experiences via panel discussions, all of which took place online.

Eden Mill, Growers Garden, Mara Seaweed (Celtic Sea-Spice Co Ltd), Relish-It, Tayport Distillery and Wemyss Family Spirits all took part in Bread & Jam, which celebrates the food and drink industry’s entrepreneurial spirit as a means of encouraging further growth in the sector.

In addition, Fife Council’s Trade Development Programme supported the businesses with pre-event sessions. This was a time for Fife businesses to shine, and with that in mind, Economic Development in partnership with Business Gateway Fife’s Expert Help Programme, arranged for the delivery of two support sessions aimed at ‘Getting Pitch Ready’. The Food from Fife network, also played a supportive role supplying insightful background information on the sector and the Festival, to encourage and aid the participating businesses.

Ben Stewart, Director of Wemyss Family Spirits attended some good sessions as part of the festival. He said:

“A real highlight for me was the session hosted by Chris Whittaker, a former buyer for Waitrose and who now owns his own consultancy where he works with entrepreneurs and brand owners to develop their commercial strategy and prepare for pitches for major retailers. He delivered it seamlessly and gave some rare insights into the world of a buyer and how to really engage them. Great value and I have since reached out to Chris for some additional sessions.”

Councillor Altany Craik, Convener - Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said:

“Exhibitions are an ideal way to market goods and services and raise a company’s profile, and whilst we can’t physically attend such events currently, online events are becoming an increasingly important platform to engage with potential customers.”

Cllr Craik added:

“It’s encouraging to hear about the success these local businesses had at Bread & Jam, in terms of showcasing their products to a sizeable audience, as well as gaining insight from leading professionals. All of this was made possible by funding from Fife Council Economic Development’s Trade Development Programme and Business Gateway Fife’s Expert Help.”

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