Seafood Scotland, the national trade and marketing body for the Scottish Seafood Industry, is getting behind the Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight 2019 by supporting food festivals spread throughout Scotland, all the way from the west coast to the northeast. Reaching over 46,000 consumers and bringing people and businesses together to enjoy and celebrate local seafood from their local area.
The Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight is the country’s biggest food and drink celebration and is a focus for companies to encourage more people than ever to buy, eat and promote Scottish products. The Fortnight also importantly showcases and supports the companies, brands and people contributing to the success of the sector, from our fishermen, fish farmers, to producers, smokers, fishmongers and more.
Seafood Scotland’s sponsorship will ensure a range of cooking demonstrations and sampling activities are in place at each event to promote and educate visitors about local and national sustainable seafood.
The Deeside Local Food Festival, Peterhead Seafood Festival and the famous Stranraer Oyster Festival, all take place during the Fortnight and provide ideal platforms to spotlight Scotland’s high quality catch, the fantastic seafood companies, brands and people contributing to the success of the Scottish Seafood Sector.
The Stranraer Oyster Festival which runs from 13th – 15th September is a celebration of the area’s unique coastal heritage, culture, people and its wealth of local produce. Now in its third year, the festival marks the start of the native oyster harvesting season and provides a late summer tourism highlight attracting over 14,000 visitors across the three days. In support of the Stranraer Oyster Festival, Seafood Scotland hosts the Scottish Shucking Championships at the event, which has now become a renowned event on the Seafood calendar and is hosted by World Champion Oyster Shucker; Patrick McMurray.
The Peterhead Festival, this year held on the 14th September, started in 2018 as a small scale pilot created to promote Peterhead as a centre for quality products and increase the town-centre footfall. Following the tremendous success of the pilot, this year’s festival’s organisers, Rediscover Peterhead, plan to roll out the festival on a larger scale and lay the foundations for a high-profile annual event.
Deeside Local Food Festival takes place on the 15 September at Cult Academy and is now in its fourth year. The festival brings together local suppliers, local businesses and the local community and attracts over 3,500 visitors.
Clare MacDougall, Trade Marketing Manager at Seafood Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to support the Stranraer Oyster Festival and to bring the Scottish Oyster Shucking Championships back for another year. I’m confident this year’s event will attract even more entrants, including chefs, oyster growers, producers, and fisherman and industry specialists from across the country.”
Seafood Scotland’s sponsorship of the festival is via Connect Local, a Scottish initiative that aims to strengthen the local food and drink economy, including the seafood supply chain. It helps to support challenges around the distribution of seafood to rural destinations to enable local business growth and support the implementation of the Scottish Food Tourism Action Plan.
As part of this programme, festival support plays an integral part of Seafood Scotland’s delivery. This support is provided all year round and has also included support for festivals such as Taste of Grampian, Tarbert Seafood Festival and Glasgow Festival of the Seas.
Donna Fordyce, Industry Engagement Specialist at Seafood Scotland, said: “Food and drink festivals play an important role in helping to promote the unique and diverse range of seafood Scotland has to offer. Sometimes they are the only places that bring producers and consumers together. They provide a cultural and critical context for our eating and help educate and inform us about how and what we eat.
Seafood Scotland is proud to support these festivals as part of this year’s Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight and beyond. The passion and commitment from Scotland’s seafood suppliers shine through at these events and provides the opportunity for businesses to tap into the growing demand from tourists as well as locals to eat local and support important rural economies.”
Elaine Whyte, Executive Secretary at Clyde Fishermen’s Association, said: “Seafood Scotland’s support has been vital to the success of the Glasgow Festival of the Sea over the past few years, the cookery demonstration and tastings are always the highlights of the festival. To get consumers thinking about Scottish seafood, the important people behind the industry and children excited to eat it is so important. We cannot thank Seafood Scotland enough for the support to make this happen and look forward to another great event this September.”