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Interim evaluation: Scotland Food & Drink’s industry leadership activities – final report for Scottish Enterprise


This report presents the findings of an interim evaluation of the delivery and impact of Scotland Food & Drink’s (SF&D) industry leadership activities. SF&D was established in 2007 as the Industry Leadership Group (ILG) for the food and drink sector in Scotland. Specifically, the evaluation assessed: the efficacy of public sector investment to SF&D over the duration of the funders’ current contract with SF&D which commenced in April 2015; progress in industry leadership activity during this time period; and performance against targets, achievement of objectives, outputs achieved and those likely to be achieved. The report also makes recommendations on maximising the return on public sector investment for the remainder of the funding period (to March 2018).


The study was undertaken between October 2016 and March 2017. It involved desk-based research, 32 consultations with a range of partners and stakeholders, 35 telephone interviews with members and non-members of SF&D, and 19 responses to an online survey distributed to members and non-members of SF&D via the SF&D members’ newsletter.


The evaluation found that the public sector investment in SF&D has helped it to refocus efforts on its core mission of industry leadership and coordination, and to make progress towards diversifying its income sources. Feedback from both stakeholders and companies also suggests that the public sector investment for SF&D’s ILG role has been effective to date. Stakeholders have a clear, shared and common understanding of SF&D’s role, and emphasise its importance in being a single, coherent voice for the industry. It is considered a catalyst for many positive things happening in the sector. Since 2015, the SF&D partnership has identified and progressed significant action centred on all five ILG objectives: providing enhanced and visible leadership; effective partnership working and deeper collaboration; the Big 6 priority workstreams; the provision of pan industry market and consumer intelligence and foresighting activities; and planning for an enhanced partnership model. The evaluation concluded that although SF&D is performing overall, progress/performance is not consistent across the individual objective areas, and that there are some areas for improvement and increased attention, such as the funding model for SF&D’s ILG activities post March 2018.


The report suggests a number of recommendations for maximising the return on public sector investment for the remainder of the funding period (to March 2018). These include that: public sector partners should confirm that funding is in place for the remainder of the contract period based on evidence that SF&D is performing strongly against its ILG objectives; focus and effort is placed by SF&D on putting the new industry strategy to 2030 into action; SF&D should undertake a review of the Big 6 Working Groups and priorities; SF&D partners should enter into conversations on what the best funding model for SF&D looks like post March 2018, and identify a model that will best support delivery of the new industry strategy; and that SF&D should continue to build on its strong performance in facilitating and encouraging partnership working and collaboration.

Author EKOS Limited
Published Year 2017
Report Type Evaluation
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Enterprise
    Sector-level support
  • Sectors
    Food and drink
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Leadership/management development