May 20, 2022

A total of 17 businesses have received funding from the Scottish Food and Drink Net Zero Challenge Fund for collaborative projects with Scottish universities to accelerate their journey to Net Zero.

Primary producers, manufacturers and hospitality businesses were among the recipients of funds with projects from eight different educational institutions.

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The fund aims to encourage businesses to act “meaningfully” on their environmental impacts through partnerships with engineering, manufacturing, biotechnology and data science experts and educators.

David Thompson (CEO, Food and Drink Federation Scotland), Jennifer McLachlan (Senior Manager Strategy and External Relations, Scotland Food and Drink) and Fiona Houston (CEO Mara C. Wade). Photo: Mike Wilkinson

Launched last October through the Scotland Food and Drink Partnership and Interface, the Waqf Fund is an important step in a project to revitalize the industry in collaboration with the Scottish Government.

David Thompson, chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation of Scotland, said: “It is very important that the entire supply chain work together to provide pure zero food and beverage products on our supermarket shelves. It was a pleasure to lead the Net Zero Task Force that determined our industry’s willingness to work together to achieve this.

“Food and beverage businesses across Scotland want to play their part – such funding initiatives are a great start in helping businesses reach their net zero.”

Fiona Houston, co-founder of Mara Seaweed, one of the fundraisers, said: As such, we want to make sure that our manufacturing process is purely zero so that we can meet our goal of offering products on the market that are truly good for the health of the planet and human health, to the end.

“The Net Zero Challenge Fund will allow us to significantly improve our productivity and capacity while reducing our carbon footprint on our processing so that we can grow our business and reach new markets. It’s a win-win for us as an environment and as a business.

Prior to the epidemic, the Scottish food industry was worth about ً 15 billion, employing about 115,000 people.

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