Fife Food Network’s ‘Food from Fife’ initiative is now established as a reliable source of information about the Kingdom's quality food and drink. Thanks to a multitude of activities, partnership working and a strong online presence, the group is strengthening the area's identity, improving visitor experience and supporting the local economy.
Launched in 2010, Fife Food Network has evolved beyond its primary aims of promoting the region's produce and connecting producers, retailers and tourism providers. Now the organisation has become a trusted information hub as well as a significant presence in social, training and educational activities.
At the heart of activities sits the Food from Fife initiative. A major funding programme - backed by local and national bodies including Scottish Enterprise and the LEADER in Fife programme - has enabled the group to advance a number of goals. These have included developing the area's reputation, enhancing visitor experiences and increasing employment and training opportunities.
Complemented by a comprehensive website launched in February 2012 at foodfromfife.co.uk, the Network has become the first port of call for organisations, businesses and media outlets seeking advice, information and resources.
Beyond detailing the Network’s aims, the website offers information about food and drink across the region - promoting the area’s shops, farms, restaurants and hotels, as well as suggesting local food trails for visitors and locals to explore. Added to this, dedicated sections provide news, event information, food history, recipes, chef biographies and links to like-minded organisations. And by connecting the site to the initiative’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, news, updates and features are quickly communicated to members, the public and the group's stakeholders.
One of the Network's major goals is to increase local employment and training opportunities. Considerable activity in this area has seen the group working with college students, primary and secondary school children, B&B and guesthouse owners, and major resort hotels. Just as eclectic is the range of organisations Fife Food Network has embraced. These have included SRUC Elmwood, Adam Smith College (now Fife College), the Royal Highland Education Trust, the Scottish Food and Drink Federation, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise.
The group has also strengthened its presence at food festivals across the region. As well as exhibiting at Fife’s two agricultural shows, the Network has promoted the area's offerings at events in Dundee, Anstruther, St Andrews and Crail, and at the major B2B VisitScotland Expo in Edinburgh.
The group's publication - “The Fife Larder – The Guide to Fife’s Food and Drink” - has enjoyed great success and “The Fife Larder Food Map” backs the online food trails and helps locals and visitors discover and enjoy the region's restaurants, events, markets and shops.
The group is now looking at how Food from Fife can be advanced even further. Sustainable funding avenues and a revised organisational structure are being explored as the Network continues building on its robust and efficient offering.
“By developing our region's reputation - and championing training, diversity and innovation - we're raising Fife's profile as well as contributing to the changing perception of Scottish food as a whole." says Vivien Collie, one of the group's directors, "Working together we can improve access to local food, act on opportunities and deliver the best experiences possible."
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