Media release: Scottish Bakers welcomes Food & Drink Recovery Plan and calls for an ongoing focus on skills

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SCOTLAND Food and Drink has announced a major funding programme to accelerate change in the sector.

An additional £5 million is to be made available to help its recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19) and prepare for Brexit.

A new, joint industry and government plan, containing more than 50 actions, has been developed to assist in stimulating demand for produce in key markets and supporting businesses to capitalise on consumer demand.

Says Alasdair Smith, chief executive of Scottish Bakers, which supports and protects the interests of Scotland’s bakers: “The bakery sector in Scotland employs around 12,000 people and delivers revenue of around £1.3 billion.

“Our members represent small traders right the way up to international bakery-based food manufacturing businesses. Our role in the food and drink sector in Scotland is vital with bakeries having such a strong presence on our high streets throughout Scotland.

“This plan is much needed if we and our sector colleagues are to find our way through the devastating impacts of COVID and the fast-approaching impacts of BREXIT, so this funding is welcome. We will work through the plan with our members and we will play our part in delivering business resilience and forward growth.

“But we call on the Scottish Government to go even further on supporting skills and training in the food sector to allow our sector to deliver sustainable growth long into the future by recognising and supporting training organisations such as National Food and Drink Training, which delivers apprentices through on-the-job training to help businesses realise their growth ambitions now and into the future.”

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