Sustainability in Scotland’s food & drink sector – What are the next steps?

It is so odd to think it has been over a year since the last of the Scotland Food & Drink Leadership Dinners, a chance for industry leaders to catch up and discuss the key issues facing their sector, whilst celebrating all that Scotland’s food and drink produce brings to the world.

Further Extension to VAT Rate Cut for Tourism & Hospitality Industries

Following Rishi Sunak’s budget announcement earlier today the temporary reduced rate of 5% VAT for the Tourism and Hospitality Sectors has been extended for a further 6 months until 30th September 2021.  Furthermore, an interim rate of 12.5% will be introduced for the sector from 1st October 2021 until 31st March 2022. Thereafter the standard rate of VAT will apply again. 

The Seafood Sector and Brexit - Q&A

Following on from issues the seafood sector has faced as a result of Brexit, Alistair Duncan hosted a Q&A session on LinkedIn to answer the most frequently asked questions since New Year. Below is a round up of the questions and detailed responses in case you missed it.
Since the Q&A was hosted, the Scottish Government has announced new financial assistance, totalling £6.45 million, to the Seafood Producers Resilience Fund. The Scottish Government estimates the fund will benefit roughly 1,000 vessels and a further 75 aquaculture businesses.
If your business owns both vessels and aquaculture undertakings you will have to complete two applications (combined payments will be capped at £45,600). Eligibility, payment rates and other details are different for the two kinds of business, and total payments under the scheme are capped at £45,600 for the catching sector and £40,500 for the aquaculture sector.
All applications concerning fishing vessels must be in before 26 February, therefore it is important to assess the criteria and complete your application carefully. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact Alistair Duncan.
All available information regarding the scheme can be found on the government website: Seafood Producers Resilience Fund - (

2020 Year in Review - Food & Drink Sector

When entering 2020 we were fully expecting the year to largely be focussed on two topics: sustainability and growth funding. To a large extent, both topics have still been highly prevalent, albeit funding often being required to strengthen cash flows rather than to pursue ambitious growth.

VAT Rate Cut for Tourism and Hospitality Sectors - Further Guidance

*Updated 29 September 2020*

Food & Drink Industry: Adapting to the Next Normal

*Updated 13 August 2020*

2020 has presented unprecedented challenges to the Scotland food and drink sector, however the agility, innovation and resilience demonstrated by many Scottish businesses has been one of few positives. The effects of the pandemic and national lockdown have impacted each business differently; with some businesses being forced into a stand-still whilst others have experienced a surge in demand   

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