Nourishing Collaboration

Nestled in the heart of Scotland, Forth Valley is a treasure trove of culinary experiences and home to a thriving food and drink industry.

Forth Valley Food and Drink, a vibrant network of local businesses, producers, and enthusiasts, has been championing the region’s gastronomic delights for the past three years.

Join us as we explore the network’s journey so far, its remarkable campaigns, and the incredible benefits to local businesses that are a part of this food and drink community.

Cultivating Success through Collaboration

Forth Valley Food and Drink Network, established three years ago as a community interest company, is a dynamic not-for-profit membership organisation.

Network Co-ordinator Stacey Spence said: “Since launching in 2020, we’ve connected and collaborated with over 100 local food and drink businesses and social enterprises from bakeries and cafes to farmers’ markets and distilleries. Bringing together a diverse range of organisations to raise our region’s profile as a leading food and drink destination.

One of the most remarkable aspects of our network is the spirit of collaboration. Local businesses that might have once considered themselves competitors have discovered the power of working together to grow and thrive. By pooling resources, sharing expertise, and collectively marketing the region’s offerings, they are working together to put Forth Valley on the map.”

A Taste of Success

The network’s journey over the past three years is a testament to the collective power of the Forth Valley food and drink community. Several highly successful campaigns have contributed to its growth and recognition, as Stacey explained:

“Over the past three years, we’ve successfully secured funding for a wide range of initiatives to boost the profile of our members and Forth Valley as a whole.

One of the stand-out moments of 2023, was our #LikeaLocal Campaign. A social media sensation, this encourages both residents and visitors to go on a culinary adventure in Forth Valley. The campaign has been shortlisted for this year’s Scotland Loves Local, Digital Town!

What’s in store for 2024

Plans are afoot for the network’s flagship event, Forth Valley Food and Drink Festival to return next year bigger and better than ever before; with opportunities for local businesses and producers to showcase their offerings through tastings, cooking demonstrations, and food-related activities. The festival has been a hit with visitors in previous years, boosting the local economy and fostering a sense of pride among residents.

There are also plans for Producer Tours and Meet the Buyer events in 2024, working in collaboration with STEP, designed to facilitate valuable connections between farmers and restaurants, promoting the use of locally sourced ingredients.

The Benefits of Being Part of the Network

Being part of the Forth Valley Food and Drink offers numerous advantages for local businesses, for just £60 a year. From a dedicated online business showcase and spot on the food trail map, to social media spotlights, media opportunities, industry insights from Scotland Food & Drink, funding leads, training discounts, inclusion in year-round marketing campaigns and even the chance to connect to Scotland’s 18 other regional food groups.

Stacey added: ““We’re hugely grateful to our funders Stirling Council, Scotland Food and Drink and Scotland Loves Local for supporting our network activity and campaigns.

Through our collaborative marketing efforts and the network’s digital presence, our members have benefitted from increased visibility, attracting more customers and tourists.

Building connections with other businesses and producers has also opened the door to potential partnerships, and new distribution channels.

We’ve also encouraged sustainable practices, helping businesses reduce their environmental footprint and meet the growing demand for eco-friendly products and experiences.”


So, what do current network members think?

Broch café owner William said: “We were lucky enough to have our café featured in a tourism film thanks to Forth Valley Food and Drink. Taking part really boosted our profile, helping us reach a wider audience.”

Laura from Turnip the Beet added: “Being part of the network and food trail has been a really positive experience. We’ve had lots of new customers on the back of the food trail publicity. The national press coverage has been fantastic and really boosted our profile.”

While Pilar Amieva from The Good Choice commented: “Thanks to the network we’ve had some great PR which has boosted awareness of our business, exposing us to a wider audience. The team are always on hand to answer our queries and have kept us informed about the latest business support available through the newsletter.”

Kay, owner of Brig O’Turk Tearoom, enthused, “We’re keen to reduce our café’s carbon footprint wherever possible and were excited to work with Forth Valley Food and Drink to trial reusable cups – joining up with other local businesses to bring our idea to life and create a bigger impact.”

The Future of Forth Valley Food and Drink

Forth Valley Food and Drink’s three-year journey showcases the incredible potential of collaboration within a thriving regional industry. As it looks to the future, the network aims to expand its reach, connect with more local businesses, and continue promoting the people and produce that make Forth Valley a leading culinary destination.

To find our more, head to or get in touch with Stacey at

Read the full edition of TALK 20 here:



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