One of the world’s most iconic chefs has joined 40 job creators and experts from Scotland’s food and drink sector outlining why a Yes vote offers far greater opportunity for their industry.
In an open letter today, key industry figures such as Dennis Overton OBE, Chairman of Aquascot, a Highlands-based sustainable seafood business; leading chefs such as Graeme Cheevers, Head Chef of Restaurant Martin Wishart; Colin Clydesdale, Chef/Restaurateur of the Ubiquitous Chip; and Roy Brett, Chef/Proprietor of Ondine as well as several others figures hospitality, tourism, food and drink industry, have backed independnece.
World-renowned chef and Scottish food and drink ambassador Albert H Roux OBE, who employs more than 130 people in Scotland, said:
“As far as the food industry is concerned I think Scotland would be better with a Yes.
“I am deeply fond of Scotland and have spent a lot of time in Scotland since the 1970s and now have several businesses there.
“Scotland is a nation with world class produce, outstanding landscapes and rich history which I have been proud to promote and I think independence could offer more opportunities to promote these wonderful things.”
Welcoming Mr Roux’s endorsement, Scotland’s only two-star Michelin star chef and Yes Scotland board member Andrew Fairlie said:
“Albert Roux is a world-renowned chef and ambassador for the food and drink industry in Scotland and to have his support is significant. Albert has recognised for a long time the potential of Scotland’s food and drink sector and has been at the forefront of promoting it.
“He has never missed the opportunity to champion Scotland the brand on his world travels and knows the opportunities that lie ahead for Scotland with the powers of being a normal, independent country.”
Welcoming the 40-signatories’ letter, Mr Fairlie added:
“Food and drink has achieved strong growth with a supportive Scottish government and is now worth nearly £14bn to the Scottish economy each year but there is opportunity for so much more with the powers of independence.
“From world-renowned chefs to food producers, more and more people are realising that only with powers of independence will we ensure Scotland achieves its potential. Putting our interests first at home and abroad, whether that’s directly supporting our producers in Scotland, opening up our exports to new international markets or growing ‘brand Scotland’ around the world, we will have the status of a normal nation instead of a sub-region behind the UK.”
Scotland’s premium quality food and drink produce is world-renowned and the sector continues to grow with a turnover of nearly £14bn.
Scotland’s food and drink manufacturing sector contributed 18% of Scotland’s overseas exports but less than 1.5% of the overseas exports of the UK as a whole.
With independence we can do much more.
We believe the food and drink sector will have more opportunities and be a much great priority for an independent Scottish government than it will be for a UK government.
Independence will also open new doors and access to new markets for our produce.
We believe there are five key opportunities for the food and drink sector with a Yes vote:
1 Growth of ‘brand Scotland’ as we boost our international profile on the world stage, prioritising the promotion of Scotland’s food and drink exports through our network of 70-90 overseas offices;
2 Using Scotland’s levy revenue to promote Scotland’s produce, unlike at present where it is partly used to promote our competitors;
3 Staying in Europe with a voice to put Scotland’s priorities first;
4 Opportunity for targeted VAT cut to boost the hospitality industry, as seen in majority of EU countries;
5 Giving more support to our fishing and farming industries which underpin our food and drink sector.
Only independence will ensure Scotland can protect our primary producers, put Scottish food and drink interests first in our trade discussions with the EU and other countries and allow Scotland to focus on gaining access to priority growing markets where demand for first class Scottish products continue to increase.
- Andrew Fairlie, Chef/Proprietor, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles
- Albert H Roux OBE KFO, Chez Roux Limited
- Graeme Cheevers, Head Chef, Restaurant Martin Wishart
- Colin Clydesdale, Chef/Restaurateur, The Ubiquitous Chip, Glasgow
- Roy Brett, Chef/Proprietor, Ondine
- Dennis Overton OBE, Chairman, Aquascot
- Neil Clapperton, MD, Springbank Distillery, Campbeltown
- William Boyter, Chef/Patron, The Cellar Restaurant, Anstruther
- Craig Millar, Chef/Patron, Craig Miller @16 West End, St Monans
- Heather Anderson, Owner, Whitmuir Organics Limited
- Brian Murphy, Chef/Patron, Pittenweem Inn, Fife
- Jean-Michel Gauffre, Chef Patron, La Garrigue Restaurant, Edinburgh
- Paddy Crerar, CEO, Crerar Hotels
- Lewis Shand, Director, Brewmeister
- Craig Stevenson, MD, Braehead Foods
- Stewart A McConnach, MD, Caithness Biscuits Limited
- Carole Inglis, Owner, Isle of Sky Fudge
- Iain McKellar, Owner, Just Seaweed, Isle of Bute
- Alan Stevenson, Scotland’s Good Hotel & Food Book
- Vincent and Ruby Marr, Proprietors, Marrbury Smokehouse and Bistro, Newton Stewart
- Mark Williams, Supplier and Tutor, Galloway Wild Foods
- Graham Buchan, Director & Head Chef, Cow Shed and Deeside Cuisine, Banchory
- Kenny Coltman, Chef/Proprietor, Coltmans Delicatessen & Kitchen, Peebles
- Jim Cowie, Proprietor, The Captain’s Galley, Scrabster
- Frances Barron, MD, The Dessert Depot and The Handmade Cheesecake Company
- Vivienne Rollo, Owner, Kishorn Seafood Bar, Wester Ross
- Alan Clark, Senior Partner, Clark’s Bakery, Dundee
- Wendy Barrie, Scottish Food Guide
- Jim McLaughlin, Owner, Vespa Bar (also known as Yesbar), Glasgow
- Antonio Vastano, Chef/Proprietor, La Taverna, Aviemore
- David Graham, Chef/Proprietor, Ballygrant Inn & Restaurant, Islay
- Rosario Sartore, Chef/Proprietor, Locanda de Gusti, Edinburgh
- Mark Shaw, CEO, Hazeldene Hotel Group
- Angus MacRuary, Owner, Isle of Sky Brewing Co Limited
- Willie Park, Owner, Castle Moil Restaurant & King Haakon Bar, Kyleakin
- Sandy Coghill, Cuillin Brewery, Isle of Skye
- David Urquhart, Owner, Hart Hotels
- Mike Small, Director, Fife Diet
- Neil Stewart, Owner, Montague Bar, Edinburgh