East Lothian Food at the Scottish Parliament
East Lothian Food at the Scottish Parliament

There was a fantastic turn out as the world’s first ever Food & Drink Business Improvement Development (BID) group from East Lothian, Scotland’s Food & Drink County, hosted a ‘Taste of East Lothian’ reception by Iain Gray MSP, at the Scottish Parliament last night, Wednesday 8th March 2017 from 6pm-8pm.

Guests had the chance to sample the finest local produce from East Lothian and hear about how East Lothian producers are leading the way in collaboration and innovation as the world’s first ever food and drink Business Improvement District (BID). Scotland’s Food & Drink County’s product portfolio was available on the evening for potential buyers.

Bordering the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian has a thriving food and drink sector, with a rich heritage and reputation for delivering high quality produce. Known as the “garden county”, with its magnificent coastline and rural landscape, it is home to a wealth of businesses that are proud to showcase the products of the fertile soils and seas of East Lothian.

From flour to beef to rapeseed oil, the rich farmlands of East Lothian produce some of the finest food in Scotland. Home to one of Scotland’s finest malt whisky distilleries, the region also produces first class, gin, beer and cider. With over 40 miles of coastline, the county boasts a plentiful supply of freshly landed fish and seafood and has seen success in less traditional produce including spices, oils, ice-cream and chocolate.

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Now East Lothian is sharing its best kept secret with the rest of the world. A group of local producers have come together to work on a ground-breaking scheme, where businesses with a shared interest and common ambition collaborate to generate funds and decide how these should be spent locally to improve their business potential.

The East Lothian Food & Drink Business Improvement District (BID), backed by the local authority, is the first of its kind in the world. It will deliver a range of projects and services that support the growth and sustainability of East Lothian food and drink companies, whatever their size, in terms of sales and distribution, marketing and a sharing of resources and knowledge.

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Louise Elder, producer of Black & Gold Rapeseed Oil from crops grown on her farm and who is leading the group, says: “This is an exciting opportunity for collaboration, giving everyone in the food and drink sector in East Lothian, whether a fledgling or established business, a collective voice. By working together, we can create a collective identity, a more vibrant economy and a sustainable future for our businesses.”

For further information about Scotland’s Food & Drink County, please contact info@scotlandsfooddrinkcounty.com

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