A NEW ScotGov fund worth £10.2 million is now available to support Scottish food producers and suppliers investing in their businesses.

The annual Food Processing, Marketing and Cooperation Grant Scheme (FPMC) is open to applications from businesses making investments in buildings and equipment, feasibility studies, co-operative ventures and the improvement of supply-chain efficiency.

Scotland's rural affairs secretary, Mairi Gougeon, said the pandemic and the Ukraine war had underlined the need for a strong food supply chain.

“The FPMC scheme has enabled some really exciting projects and I know this funding round will be no different," she added. “As well as encouraging innovation and co-operation, the scheme will help sustain and create jobs in our rural communities which have been particularly hard hit by the damaging impact of Brexit.

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"It will also help new and experienced exporters move into emerging markets to ensure long-term viability."

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 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.