The Food, Drink and Agriculture sector is a significant part of the economy of North East Scotland, with more than 22,000 people directly employed in the sector: 51% in agriculture, 32% in food manufacturing, 11% fishing and 6% drinks.

In Scottish terms the region accounts for 17% of the Gross Value Added (GVA) and 18% of the employment. Excluding the whisky sector, it contributes an estimated 20% of Scotland’s food and drink industry output. The area accounts for approaching 25% of Scotland’s primary agricultural output and half of its fish landings.

North East Scotland has an excellent base for growth in food, drink, agriculture and seafood, with its wide range of primary produce, new businesses, big name brands and international connections.

Opportunity North East (ONE) recognises the potential of this sector, with scope for development in internationalisation, provenance, nutritional products and quality brands and is committed to investing its expertise in this sector.

Working with industry and partners, we will identify opportunities and deliver support across five priority areas.

  • Business growth: identifying the barriers to the growth of individual businesses and working with partners to fill the gaps and accelerate high potential businesses.
  • Innovation: supporting the development of an Agri-Food & Nutrition Hub for Innovation, which will act as a beacon for businesses across the supply chain, embedding research, development and innovation in the sector.
  • Strengthening the supply chain: from farm and fishery to consumer, so that it is a source of competitive advantage for the North East.
  • Market development: bringing businesses to wider national and international market opportunities.
  • Skills development: plugging food technology gaps, supporting young workers into the sector and building confidence and ambition.

The North East Scotland Food & Drink Awards are delivered in partnership by Opportunity North East (ONE) and Aberdeenshire Council. The Awards celebrate innovation and excellence while rewarding success in the food and drink sector. Free to enter, they are open to food and drink producers based in the North East.

The Opportunity North East Business Growth Programme is designed specifically for owners and managers of small food and drink businesses as well as aspirational staff from larger companies. It is a modular programme which allows delegates to continue to run their business while they participate. In addition to group workshops, business speakers, practical exercises and visits, each delegate will be supported by an experienced business mentor, to help build their growth plan and get the maximum benefit from their participation. The 2017 Business Growth Programme is now fully subscribed, but to speak to the team about your business growth plans please contact jane.macleod@opportunitynortheast.com.

Sector Board

ONE’s food, drink and agriculture sector board comprises:

Patrick Machray OBE
Philip Benzie
Giovanna Bermano
Robert Gordon University
Andrew Booth
The Store
Robert Chapman
Farmlay Eggs
Michael Clark OBE
International Fish Canners
Stuart Common
Mackie’s of Scotland
Jennifer Craw
Danny Cusick
Scottish Enterprise
Bill Dean
Dean’s of Huntly
David Kilshaw OBE
Joseph Robertson and Scotland Food & Drink
Gregor Mackintosh
Mackintosh of Glendaveny
Sarah Malone
Trump International
Alastair Macphie
Belinda Miller
Aberdeenshire Council
Stephen Rankin
Gordon & MacPhail
Graeme Ross
J.G. Ross
Alan Rowe
Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health

We help to identify and accelerate high-impact opportunities and maximise their long-term benefits