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Visit Scotland | Alba

Sourcing and serving local produce are good for local communities and economies. They attract and delights customers, and encourages repeat custom and positive recommendations.

It can also result in higher spending as visitors are prepared to pay more for products with provenance. In fact, four in five Scots would like to be able to buy more food and drink produced in Scotland.

Visitors want to feel a connection to the area they are in, and to uncover and taste the best local produce. They want to celebrate our identity. We have the opportunity to offer them a taste of local and traditional food and drink, which they may not be able to get elsewhere.

Source and serve local produce

This guidance applies to all businesses involved in serving and supplying food and drink. It will help you to develop a high quality, distinctive, local and sustainable food and drink experience. You can use it to create strong links to your area and significant potential for business growth.

How to review your food and drink offering

Things to consider:

  • Review all suppliers used across your business.
  • Look at where each item you use comes from. Where possible, swap in produce that is local or made in Scotland to offer visitors a more distinctive sense-of-place and a uniquely Scottish experience.
  • Review your menus or services and look for ways to integrate local and seasonal produce into everything you offer. Look at each component in turn, including details such as dressings, garnishes, sauces and decorations, if you use them.
  • Identify ways to produce food from scratch, when their flavour is at its best, and when they offer good value for money. This will help you make the most of local, seasonal ingredients. Browse the seasonal food calendar on
  • Get to know what other businesses are offering, both locally and across Scotland. Look for ways your business can support and add to what is on offer to visitors to your area.
  • Ask for feedback on your current offering, either from trusted contacts or through customer feedback. This will help you find out what people would like to see or what you may be missing.
  • Discover the food and drink heritage and traditions in your area. You may find some interesting ways to promote and protect local food and drink culture or to offer something distinctive for visitors. This may help you to build a reputation as a destination for quality, local food and drink.

How to source local produce

Things to consider: 

  • Get to know local suppliers and food and drink initiatives in your area. These could be farmers, producers, markets, makers, and growers. Be confident in making connections, buying directly, and looking at opportunities for reciprocal business.
  • Join your local regional food group to meet other people in the area, get your business on the local map, and see if there are ways to collaborate. Find out more about your regional food group on
  • Some businesses that source within a defined radius can create a high-quality experience that has a clear point of difference. For more information, email:
  • Find additional ways to celebrate local produce in your business, which could add extra revenue streams. These could include more strands to your business, such as events, tours, tastings, classes, retail, and hospitality.
  • Showcase other businesses in your area that share your ethos and collaborate wherever possible. This could involve cross-selling or cross-promotion and could encourage multi-destination visits. Collaboration supports other local businesses and helps to give visitors a sense of place whilst they are in the area.
  • Customers want to buy local. Over 80% of Scottish consumers want to support local businesses, as they believe it supports the local economy and their sense of community. Despite price pressures, provenance remains important to consumers.

How to communicate your food and drink offering

Things to consider:

  • Ensure you communicate where your products or ingredients are sourced from at every opportunity. Confidently tell your customers where and how your products were made and by whom. Your interiors and displays may also help to tell your story. Clearer labelling with specific details of Scottish provenance can make consumers up to 45% more likely to buy.
  • Ensure details of provenance or tradition are communicated on menus, publicity materials, displays, websites, social media, and at all points of contact with your customers. Don’t forget table talkers, front and back pages of menus, special boards, screens, photography, and supplier maps.
  • Staff training should include knowledge about what you offer to customers and where it comes from. This will help customers understand what they are consuming or experiencing and its provenance. Staff should be positive ambassadors for Scottish food and drink, knowing what is being served to customers and being able to signpost them to further information, should they wish to know more.
  • List your business on our consumer website Find out more about creating a free web listing.

Examples of Scottish ingredients and dishes

Related links