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Evaluation of Scottish Food and Drink Information Service


Scottish Food and Drink is an industry led strategy designed to achieve a sustainable and profitable food and drink sector that is consumer focused, market led and internationally competitive. The Scottish Food and Drink (SFD) Information Service is a flagship project for the strategy; it has ambitious growth targets and underpins the infrastructure for the strategy. The evaluation of the SFD Information Service aimed to measure progress against targets set in 2004, and establish a framework for a cost/benefit analysis and recommend SMART objectives for the period 2008 to 2011.


An online survey of beneficiary companies, key stakeholders and partners and representatives from Scottish Enterprise (SE) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) was undertaken. A further fifteen more detailed telephone interviews were undertaken with willing participants.


The Service made good progress against all of its objectives in terms of the business benefits being delivered, bar that of productivity improvements. Total public sector expenditure on the Service over its lifespan (2003-2011) is estimated at £2.1million with total net additional cumulative GVA at around £6million. The private sector contribution is expected to increase and the public sector contribution to decrease over this period. The Service provided for its intended market well and satisfaction among food and drink companies was generally high. Survey responses from stakeholders and partners was very low, but those that responded did so positively. SE and HIE staff found the Service very useful. Customer reach was also found to be very good.


The website’s promotional strategy should be reviewed; consideration should be given to creating additional sections to attract new clients; once the site is managed by the private sector it should move to a membership business model; links from the site to other related organisations should be sought; site navigation should be simplified; user customisation through the use of ‘cookies’ should be considered; and future outcome and impact targets (listed in full document) should be tracked.

Author EKOS Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Sector-level support
  • Sectors
    Food and drink