Connect Local

Connect Local is the new advisory service for local food and drink marketing aimed at entrepreneurs, micro-businesses and SMEs in Scotland, with a specific programme focusing on seafood. This new service is funded by the Scottish Government and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and is the successor to the highly successful three year Think Local project.

Working closely with partners in the food and drink sector, the purpose of Connect Local is to provide a specialist advisory service for entrepreneurs, micro-businesses and SMEs with limited experience of marketing food and drink from Scotland. Connect Local will complement existing activity, and will work collaboratively to add value to the local food and drink landscape by proactively advertising opportunities for support and growth and responding to enquiries when approached.

Connect Local will contribute, in part, to delivering continued economic growth and local food priorities through its strategic aims:

  • Changing behaviour in food and drink production, promotion, procurement and ultimately consumer purchasing towards local choices;
  • Developing the quality, nutritional content and added value propositions of food and drink producers to meet the demands of consumers, retail, food service, and hospitality customers; and
  • Strengthening the local food and drink economy, including the seafood supply chain (diversifying and improving access to local markets).

Connect Local will provide both one-to-one and one-to-many advice, within the context of Scottish Government policies, on:

  • Identifying and building relationships with appropriate customers/markets in Scotland;
  • Adding and quantifying value, in particular through improved market information and branding;
  • Where and how to access and apply for private and public funding;
  • How businesses can maximise value from attending events;
  • Improvements in infrastructure of farmers and fish markets, aquaculture farms, farm/fish retail outlets and food networks in Scotland, including food transport networks;
  • Forming common interest groups and networks, or other forms of collaboration;
  • Where to access information on food and drink legislation and on different forms of support for businesses;
  • Applying for Protected Name Status (PGI, PDO, TSG) or Geographical Indication for drinks; and
  • Food tourism, including creating trails.

For further information visit the Connect Local website at

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Food and Drink Team

Address: SAC Consulting, Ferguson Building, Craibstone Estate, Aberdeen AB21 9YA

Telephone: 01224 711 044