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COVID-19 support for food and drink and agricultural sectors

Find out what support is available to help food and drink businesses and those operating in agricultural sectors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Support and guidance for the food and drink sector

  • New 20 October: The Scottish Food and Drink Net Zero Challenge Fund The Scottish Food and Drink Net Zero Challenge Fund has been launched by Interface and the Scotland Food and Drink Partnership to support Scotland’s food and drink businesses as part of the Recovery Plan funded by Scottish Government. Funding of up to £10,000 will be available for businesses to partner with and fund Scottish academia on projects that contribute to sustainability and net zero goals. 
  • Updated 16 October: Marine Fund Scotland This fund will support investments and jobs in seafood sectors, the marine environment and coastal communities in Scotland. It replaces the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) following the UK’s exit from the EU. This fund is currently closed due to high demand. If you have any queries please contact
  • 09 April: A plan for smart recovery A joint, industry and Scottish Government programme for Scotland’s farming, fishing, food and drink sector.

  • Updated 25 March: £1m available to help farmers diversify into forestry £1m has been made available through the new Agricultural Transformation Programme to help farmers diversify into forestry and help the fight against climate change. Up to 90% of the cost of establishing woodlands will be covered. Grants will be managed by Scottish Forestry. In addition to this, a new agriculture loan scheme has been announced to help farmers and crofters maintain cashflow during COVID-19.
  • 25 January: The Academy, led by the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership, is a unique, market-focused, and commercially orientated training programme that helps Scottish food and drink businesses sell themselves, build their brands and thrive in grocery and foodservice markets. 
  • 23 November: Food and Drink Recovery Plan The food and drink sector is getting £5 million to help its recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19) and prepare for Brexit, announced today. You can also view a joint industry and Scottish Government programme plan for Scotland's farming, fishing, food and drink sector called Recovering from COVID-19 and fuelling Brexit Preparation.

Coronavirus Information Hub - Scotland Food & Drink

Scotland Food & Drink, working with industry partners, business and government, has created an information hub to help support businesses during COVID-19. For the latest developments, business and financial support available, as well as key resources around workforce and social distancing in the workplace, please visit the hub. 

Visit the Cornonavirus information hub

Support Local

Scotland Food & Drink has a new national directory to connect the public with businesses that can supply local, Scottish food and drink products directly to consumers. These businesses may be producers, manufacturers, wholesalers or may be retail and hospitality businesses that stock Scottish products and are now doing home delivery or click and collect. Businesses do not need to be a member of Scotland Food & Drink to be included in this free online directory, you just needs to fill in the form on the website here

My World of Work: Job Hub

A newly launched workforce portal has been developed by Skills Development Scotland to connect those looking for work with those needing additional workforce. Job Hub is a free service which enables employers across Scotland to advertise vacancies to a broad audience through Scotland’s dedicated careers resource My World of Work.

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Support from Scotland Food and Drink

Scotland Food & Drink, the industry leadership trade association have a lot of useful information and signposts to support.

You can sign-up to receive daily industry updates from Scotland Food and Drink direct to your email box. 

There's also key FAQ's for different sub-sectors such as distilleries and breweries and farming, as well as information on issues such as key worker designation. 

Visit Scotland Food and Drink

Food Standards Scotland Q&A

COVID-19 guidance for farmers and crofters

Updated 12 August 2021: The Scottish Government guidance provides a summary of information, including:

  • How to support safe working on farms and crofts COVID-19
  • Hygiene measures
  • Farm and croft inspections
  • Keeping employees safe
  • Operating farm shops

View guidance 


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Find Business Support portal has been created as a joint partnership portal for all businesses support information in Scotland. We are feeding into the information their, along with Scottish Enterprise, Business Gateway and Skills Development Scotland. There a dedicated section in relation to Coronavirus being updated daily, seven days a week. 

Another good source of information is to sign up for email updates from the Scottish Government on coronavirus guidance and advice for businesses in Scotland here.        

Visit Find Business Support 

New Portal Launched to Help Scotch Whisky Industry Supply Hand Sanitiser

The Scotch Whisky Association has launched an important tool for companies to help meet the demand of organisations that need supplies of hand sanitiser.

The portal will serve as a conduit between Scotch Whisky distillers, related  industry suppliers and distribution partners and organisations seeking hand sanitiser. It will connect distillers wanting to make hand sanitiser with those who can provide key ingredients, supplies such as bottles, pump-action closures and labels, and companies that can help distribute sanitiser to organisations in need.

Scotch Whisky producers and other relevant businesses will be asked to complete a response form via the SWA website, and the SWA will act as a clearing house for companies seeking the necessary guidance to begin production at scale or in the local community.

Access the portal here

The SWA has worked closely with government, HMRC, HSE and SEPA to overcome regulatory barriers such as that of excise duty and Biocides regulations.

Issued by the Scotch Whisky Association.

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Hand washing graphic

How food and drink businesses are diversifying operations to meet local demand

Businesses across the region are adapting their operations to support local communities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Read about one initiative that's been created in the Outer Hebrides below. 

Eat Drink Hebrides 

Food and drink businesses, including fishermen, restaurants, distilleries and bakeries are all having to change the way they operate in the absence of their usual markets and to comply with social distancing rules.

In an effort to help local businesses feed their communities, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, through its Rural Food Tourism Places project, partnered with Outer Hebrides Tourism to to create a new Eat Drink Hebrides website to highlight and promote the wonderful produce available within its local area.

The service is free for businesses in the local area to sign up to provide information about what is available, where and how to get it, and make it easier for customers to find out what's available. 

Visit Eat Drink Hebrides

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Smoked Salmon on oat cakes


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