Applications now open for a fund to support producers and suppliers
Applications have now opened for a fund to support Scottish food and drink suppliers and producers to invest in future growth.
The annual Food Processing, Marketing and Cooperation Grant Scheme (FPMC) will enable investment across a range of projects including buildings and equipment, feasibility studies, co-operative ventures and the improvement of supply-chain efficiency.
A total of £7.3 million is available in this financial year to support initiatives that will safeguard jobs and increase sector efficiency.
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “Our food and drink sector creates amazing produce that is enjoyed across local, national and international markets.
“As well as encouraging innovation and co-operation, this scheme will also help sustain and create employment opportunities within our rural communities which have been particularly hardly hit by the damaging impact of Brexit.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has also underlined the need for a strong food supply chain and growing consumer interest in food that is produced locally to a high standard.
“Looking to the future, this funding will help new and established businesses to move into emerging markets and ensure the long-term viability of our primary producers.”
Applicants to the scheme will be asked to demonstrate the benefits their project will provide to the local economy. This includes shortening supply chains, increased of use of local produce and markets and benefits to the wider local economy.
Businesses will also be asked to demonstrate their commitment to the principles of fair work and outline the ways their proposed projects will contribute to net zero.
Previous successful applicants include Fife-based The Buffalo farm who received funding to help diversify from buffalo meat to a range of dairy products using buffalo milk, while Crafty Maltsters Ltd secured an award of more than £144,000 towards the creation of a new maltings facility at their Auchtermuchty farm.