Media Release: Scottish food and drink – keeping it in the family

The Scotsman Conferences second annual Food and Drink event looks at what makes a successful family business

SOME of Scotland’s most iconic food and drink businesses, such as Baxters and AG Barr’s, started life as small family concerns. But what makes a family business work?

Delegates at one of the highlights of Scotland’s Food and Drink Fortnight in September hope they will find out.

The Scotsman Conferences second annual Food and Drink event will hear first hand about the challenges – and opportunities – of keeping it in the family from two of Scotland’s most established family businesses as well as a new family venture.

If you have an interest in Scotland’s food and drink sector – whether as an established producer, a policy maker or someone who is thinking of setting up a new food business, or simply want to find out more about making a family business work, then you can’t afford to miss this prestigious event.

It will look at the success of some of Scotland’s household names in food and drink that continue to grow under family ownership, including which are now listed on the stock market.

It will hear from new family businesses, many of which are started on the kitchen table, and hear from experts on the pitfalls that family business should avoid as they grow.

It will consider how succession works in a business where family sometimes comes first, and examine the role of the recession in kick-starting a new generation of family businesses.

The event is held in association with Taste Communications, Scotland’s leading food and drink communications agency.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Stephen Jardine (chair): one of the most recognisable figures in the Scottish media and founder of Taste Communications
  • Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Rural Affairs
  • Roger White, chief executive of A G Barr: the first non-family member to head the company that has been serving Scotland with soft drinks since 1875
  • W Robin G Barr: current director and former chair of A G Barr
  • Jo Macsween, of Macsween of Edinburgh: a third generation family company. Macsween were recently named Family Business of the Year 2013 at the Scotland Food and Drink Awards.
  • MarkBush, managing director, Summer Harvest, a new family business that produces cold pressed rapeseed oil.
  • James Withers: chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink and the man charged with helping Scottish companies, large and small, grow.
  • Andrew Ley, Partner, HBJ Gateley who will look at how funding and governance for family businesses.

The event will be held in the Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL on 10 September 2013. Registration will be from 8.30am.

It will end at around 1.15pm and there is a networking brunch, provided by the Scottish Café and Restaurant, at 11.00 am.

For prices and more information, go to, call Rebecca on 0131 620 8212, email


MEDIA RELEASE posted by Scotsman Conferences. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Rebecca Thompson
Phone: 01316208212