A project aimed at promoting and supporting the region’s food and drink industry has been resurrected.

Savour the Flavours was relaunched this week by many of the people involved in the original scheme, which ran from 2009 to 2013.

It aims to help businesses shape the region’s recovery from the coronavirus lockdown, with the first of a series of online industry gatherings taking place on Tuesday night.

Liz Ramsay, project manager of the original Savour the Flavours, said: “The key to local businesses recovering from the trauma of lockdown is communication and collaboration.

“The food and drink industry is a community, one that is connected through complex supply chains and mutually beneficial trading relationships.

“It’s important that we build networks of communication, and we think the Savour the Flavours brand will help create a safe space for businesses to open up about their challenges, and also explore new ideas.

“The food, drink and hospitality industry in this region consists of mainly small, family run businesses that are often at the very heart of their communities.

“The people who run these businesses are at an all-time low – the emotional impact of this can’t be understated – so we want to create a place where people can speak with others who are facing the same challenges.”

The Daily Record has launched our NHS Heroes campaign to thank the remarkable NHS staff who are on the front lines of this coronavirus emergency.

These amazing people place our health above their own and we are inviting the public to pledge their support by placing a heart on their location in the UK.

Please join us in showing these people our gratitude as we navigate this difficult time.

NHS heroes logo.png 

To pledge your support, just:

* Go to http://www.thanksamillionnhs.co.uk/

* Add your postcode to put a heart on the map and show your support for the heroes of the NHS


* Share the page to encourage others to show their support


She added: “Savour the Flavours was at its strongest when our industry came together under one umbrella, and the key to that was in listening to each other, supporting, collaborating and helping. That approach is needed now more than ever.”

Lorna Young and Ian and Rachel Findlay were part of the core team of the previous Savour the Flavours and are also involved in the new project.

In a food and drink strategy prepared by Lorna for the council two years ago, it was claimed the food and drink industry in the region has an annual turnover of £1.29 billion and employs 13,700 people. It also set the target of a £2.5 billion turnover by 2030.

Former chairman Dave Smith, of the Buccleuch Arms Hotel in Moffat, said: “It was an exciting, challenging and successful time leading Savour the Flavours and being a part of highlighting and showcasing the great food of Dumfries and Galloway.

“I am now even more excited to fully support the plans to revive the Savour the Flavours brand.

“This initiative has my unreserved support, and I know this revival will be enthusiastically welcomed by the industry.”

Paul O’Keeffe, partner at Thomas Tosh in Thornhill, said: “Savour the Flavours’ return is great news. It had been a good way for food businesses to keep in touch, help each other, and promote the region.

“It will also help make sure that small businesses’ voices are heard as we come out of lockdown.”

The online meetings will be open to any business in the food and drink or hospitality sectors and will be used to look at the future and pass on information to public agencies helping with the Covid-19 economic recovery. Businesses who want to take part should visit www.savourtheflavours.co.uk and register their details.