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Food & Drink Innovation and Regenerative Agriculture

The South of Scotland; a fusion of heritage, agriculture and innovative technology, propelling sustainable food and drink industries.


Renowned for its food and drink production, the South of Scotland has a long heritage in agriculture and aquaculture. The region is constantly striving to become even more enterprising by combining technological innovation with social and cultural innovation too.

Due to the changing climate and needs of our food systems, businesses in the region are looking at opportunities in new areas such as vertical and regenerative farming.

The South of Scotland’s Drink Industry 

With breweries and distilleries located across the region, our contribution to Scotland’s innovative drinks industry is well documented. Distilling, rectifying and blending of spirits makes up 7% of the food and drink sector, generating millions of pounds in turnover every year. 

From beer and cider to gin, vodka and of course one of Scotland’s most famous exports, whisky. The drinks industry can benefit from the established supply chain and packaging development available in the region. The region is home to The Borders Distillery based in Hawick in the Scottish Borders, is a great example of sustainable distilling, working towards a transition to net zero whilst protecting and enhancing the natural capital in the area.

Scotland’s Seafood 

Thanks to the South of Scotland’s fantastic coastal communities, our seafood is known worldwide. The processing and preserving of fish, crustaceans and molluscs is one of the sectors most represented within Food and Drink Innovation in the South of Scotland. 

St Abbs Marine Station is a great example of innovative ideas that have come together and now provides helpful data not only regarding the health of the environment for sea life but how aquaculture and renewables can work together. 

Businesses such as the award-winning St James Smokehouse in Annan, winners of over 65 awards for their Scottish Smoked Salmon ranges. The region boasts a strong narrative for welcoming and supporting innovative seafood clients.

GreenSea Solutions, whose work in promoting macroalgae and cultivated seaweeds presents exciting new opportunities in decarbonisation.

Dairy Innovation 

Education and skills in food innovation is well supported by the region’s education and skills infrastructure. With related industries such as Agritech, with benefits from its historical roots in agriculture, fishing and farming. These established industries provide the natural foundation for the South of Scotland to evolve as an innovative leader.

A business with aspirations to strong environmental credentials and Aiming for Net Zero is Finlay’s Farm Ltd in Dumfries and Galloway.

Encouraging and supporting businesses in the food and drink sector’s with close alignment with the decarbonisation agenda is a strength of the sector. The South of Scotland is an excellent location to develop innovative solutions to farming and food production. Working closely with the region’s universities and colleges, we have an opportunity to make a significant impact.


As pressures grow to produce food products more efficiently, sustainably, and in ways that enhance human health and biodiversity, the South of Scotland continues focus on future investment in high-tech, sustainable and regenerative food production.  

Ready to invest in the South of Scotland?

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