Harris Distillery brings vital economic boost to the Western Isles
From world-class beef and lamb to fresh fish and shellfish, traditional shortbread, Scottish oatcakes and malt whisky, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland has it all.
The food and drink sector in the Highlands and Islands contributes £1 billion to the economy. Our region is renowned for producing high quality food and drink products. Businesses range from large global enterprises through to specialist niche producers, supporting some 32,000 jobs, often in more remote areas.
Not only is the food and drink industry a significant economic driver with great potential for further development, but the quality of our food and drink products play a key role in defining the Highlands and Islands of Scotland to the rest of the world.
HIE is leading the Scottish delegation, in partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI), to create the first Scottish Pavilion at the Aqua Nor technology trade exhibition in Trondheim in August. Aqua Nor is held every two years. In 2015 it attracted more than 20,000 delegates and 550 exhibitors from 27 countries.
A new strategy to drive growth in Scotland’s farming, fishing, food and drink industry was unveiled on 23 March by industry body, Scotland Food & Drink.
The sector is worth £14.4 billion annually, 119,000 people are working directly in the industry and food manufacturing in Scotland is growing at twice the rate of the UK average for the sector.
A £1 million pilot programme to boost innovation in aquaculture in the Highlands and Islands is set to go ahead. HIE approved the funding package and will run the programme in conjunction with the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC).
A Caithness distillery has embarked on a major expansion that will boost its turnover and international sales and create at least one new job. Dunnet Bay Distillery (DBDL) has secured a £64,000 contribution from HIE towards the £248,000 development.
Food and drink businesses from across the Highlands and Islands are being called to enter the prestigious awards before the 5th May deadline.