Scottish food and drink sector representatives have said the industry will need financial support for the coming years as well as a rethink on potentially damaging policies in the wake of the pandemic and Brexit disruption.

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Scotland said it is calling for a platform to help the country's world-renowned sector to recover from coronavirus and Brexit, and to return to growth.

It is asking for a moratorium on policy and regulation changes that will negatively impact Scotland’s food and drink manufacturers.

FDF Scotland has launched a manifesto ahead of the Scottish elections that sets out the future priorities for Scotland’s food and drink manufacturers.

It includes key asks for the next Scottish Parliament and Government in areas including supporting the growth of the food and drink industry and investing in people, skills and innovation. 

It said Scotland’s food and drink companies "need time to recover from the devastating impacts of Covid-19 and the changes that have been brought about by the UK’s new relationship with the EU".

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As well as a moratorium on legislation which hurts food and drink businesses, FDF Scotland asks for "continued funding for the recovery of the industry over the coming years".

FDF Scotland is also calling on parliamentarians to ensure future dietary health policy is evidence-based and supports Scotland’s people and vital food and drink industry.

David Thomson, FDF Scotland chief executive, said: "It has been a challenging time for our food and drink businesses. As well as being fully focused on keeping their employees safe and feeding the nation, they are now getting to grips with the changes involved in exporting their products to the EU.

“To do that, businesses need stable ground to recover and grow. We ask the next Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government not to put in place punitive policies and legislation that will harm the food and drink industry. Instead we want to work in partnership with parliamentarians to support Scotland’s food and drink manufacturers to get back on their feet now and thrive into the future.”

HeraldScotland: The biscuit maker has reached a significant charity milestone.The biscuit maker has reached a significant charity milestone.

Biscuit maker hits charity milestone during lockdown

The community support initiative backed by profits from Border Biscuits has hit the £1 million milestone with donations to more than 170 organisations and good causes.

READ MORE: The independently-owned Lanark business, which employs about 170 people, has been donating 10 per cent of its profits through Border Biscuits Community Support since the initiative was set up in 2010.

Scottish life sciences and healthcare recruiter turnover doubles during pandemic

A life sciences and healthcare recruiter has reported a turnover increase of 110 per cent to £4.6 million and a 47% growth in headcount last year.

READ MORE: Scottish talent acquisition specialist Entrust Resource Solutions said the results are partly because of its response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen existing client demand increase dramatically, while 20% of the year’s activity is attributable to new customers.

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