FOOD, glorious food is the theme of south-west Scotland’s ambitious plan to double the value of its food and drink sector to £2.5 billion by 2030.

The target was revealed at Moffat famers’ market as Dumfries and Galloway council and regional industry organisation DG Food and Drink launched a business survey to inform a new regional food and drink strategy and action plan.

Food and drink is already D and G’s most valuable economic sector by a considerable distance, with an annual turnover of £1.29 billion, employing 13,700 people. The regional growth ambition aligns with the national food and drink strategy, ‘Ambition 2030’, which aims to double the value of Scotland’s industry over the next twelve years.

Spanning the full supply chain from field and sea to plate, the sector includes primary production, such as agriculture and fishing, through to small food producers, large scale food manufacturers and processors, farmers’ markets and food festivals, distributors, restaurants, cafes, visitor attractions, speciality retailers and a growing number of distilleries.

Launching the growth target, Archie Dryburgh, chair of the council’s economy, environment and infrastructure committee, said: “Our council has committed to deliver an ambitious regional food and drink strategy to double the size of the industry over the next 12 years.

“In order to do that we are inviting the full spectrum of the food and drink industry – from producer to end user – to tell us what their needs and their opportunities are so that our council and our partners can help businesses across the region to realise their potential."

Andrew Wood, vice chair of the council’s committee, said: “Dumfries and Galloway is already one of Scotland’s most important food producing regions, with more than 40% of Scotland’s dairy and around 20% of the nation’s red meat produced here.

“We have an exceptional artisan sector, a growing number of food tourism experiences and festivals, and a rich network of independently owned restaurants and cafes that all reflect the local food heritage of their own communities.

“This new growth target is just the start of a programme of development support that we anticipate will broaden out to include the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency and other public sector partners."

The action plan will be developed over the summer and will be informed by industry surveys followed up by a series of workshops and one to one consultations with businesses and industry organisations. The surveys are open for three weeks and links to them can be found on All food and drink related businesses and organisations in the region, from field and sea to plate, are encouraged to participate.

Launching the programme of industry research, Lorna Young of DG Food and Drink said: “Doubling the value of our industry by 2030 is ambitious, particularly when it is already our largest economic sector, but it is certainly achievable and the time to do it is now.”