It's good that the Scottish food and drink industry has gained enough confidence to mount not just a fortnight's, but an entire year's, celebration during 2015.

But let's face it, 12 months is a long time. How do you even begin to pull together something so significant in such a geographically disparate country, and retain interest throughout?

Unusually, Scotland Food & Drink is working in this with VisitScotland, which is charged with capitalising on the unprecedented visitor figures to Scotland during 2014 and bringing them back next year.

The visitor stats for July-December (in which the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup took place) haven't yet been published, but I'm told that between January and June last year a total of 6.44 million trips to Scotland were made by people from the UK and overseas, spending £1.75 billion - the highest numbers recorded, helped by free-spending visitors from the US, Germany and China. A dramatic spike is anticipated for the second half of the year. So no pressure on those tasked with bringing home the bacon next year, then.

Food tourism - broadly defined as "the pursuit and enjoyment of unique and memorable food and drink experiences, both far and near" by the World Food Travel Association - is an ideal way to draw people to Scotland in 2015.

It's already been established by VisitBritain that overseas visitors are more likely to purchase food and drink in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK, with 40 per cent doing so last year????

It said that Scotland continued to outperform the rest of Britain, with a 20% spike in what???

Whisky (including whisky fudge), Edinburgh Rock, shortbread, tablet, Irn-Bru, Scottish honey, jam and marmalade, Stornoway Black Pudding and (ahem) tinned haggis were the most popular, according to a VisitScotland survey.

Food and drink have become an integral part of the tourism experience for many visitors. To get the ball rolling for next year artisan producers, retailers, caterers and wholesalers have been asked to submit ideas. By applying to become part of the Year of Food and Drink 2015, they get invaluable international marketing and PR support.

The largest event planned so far is the first Children's Food Festival by North Highland Initiative in June, with the aim of educating young people in where food comes from and - an increasingly important issue - how they might work in the industry.

To help focus minds a calendar of monthly themes, based on the local seasonal produce which has forged Scotland's culinary reputation, has been launched by the Think Local project: January, which covers Hogmanay through to Burns' Night is, naturally, is the month of traditional foods such as steak pie, black bun, haggis, neeps. In February, the love theme is sorted with oysters, seafood and chocolate; March is for brewing and distilling (boutique beers and gins). Berries, dairy, barley, oats, game, lamb and beef get the treatment as the year progresses. It's hoped every part of the country will be represented. There will also be food trails to the burgeoning number of chocolate, coffee and cheese makers, and foraging trips.

For my part, I'd like to see an emphasis on the food innovation work being done by the likes of Queen Margaret University Edinburgh, and the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen; more on the importance of soil, from the James Hutton Institute; and what the future of Scottish food might look like, from progressive chefs like Andrew Fairlie.

London-based Scots chefs might come home for talks and demos; I'd also propose a series of high-end residential gastronomic courses, like the one I recently experienced at the Nick Nairn Cook School at the Lake of Menteith in Stirlingshire. Delegates from London were amazed at how vibrant the scene is here.

The possibilities are endless. Bringing it off depends on industry engagement at all levels. The table is ready; I look forward to reading the menu.