Growing our UK market

Arbikie Highland Estate is a family-owned working farm situated on the east coast of Angus. It produces an award winning range of spirits including gin, whisky and vodka.

To the east of the family farm is the sea and to the west, fields of nurtured crops, all with a backdrop of the Angus hills that slowly filter pure water into Arbikie’s underground lagoon. It is this combination of natural assets which provides the foundation for Arbikie’s range of spirits.

Iain Stirling, Founder of Arbikie, joined Scotland Food & Drink in 2015; “I think that Scotland Food & Drink is the kind of umbrella organisation that is essential to help growth across the food and drink sector and it is very well led by James.”

During their time as a member, Arbikie has been involved in several Access to Markets events including the London Speciality Market Entry Programme and Showcasing Scotland. The Access to Markets programme helps Scottish food and drink businesses access routes to UK retail and foodservice markets, opening doors to decision makers and facilitating new business opportunities.

The London Speciality Market Entry Programme was designed to support food and drink producers who were targeting the London speciality retail and foodservice markets. The programme consisted of workshops, a learning journey and one-to-one support.

“The London Speciality Market Entry Programme was excellent, both in the preparation and in the delivery in London. It would have given any business a great orientation on the size, scope and opportunity available. This programme would benefit most companies as it tangibly demonstrates the vast market that is available in the UK, without having to go overseas.”

“Taking part in the event has led to an enhanced status with a new customer, Harrods, and led to ongoing discussions with others that will eventually lead to further business.”

In October, during the Year of Food and Drink, the second Showcasing Scotland event took place at Gleneagles. Around 130 influential food and drink buyers from across the UK and the globe participated in over 1,200 individual, pre-arranged meetings with around 100 Scottish producers, with many more ad hoc meetings taking place throughout the event.

Arbikie attended the two-day event and thoroughly enjoyed it; “Showcasing Scotland is one of the best events I have ever been to. It was very focused, making it easy for the buyers and for the suppliers. The programme ahead of the event was very good and led us to being well prepared to make the most of the opportunity.”

“During the event, we gained a number of domestic UK and international leads which will eventually result in orders, we just have to wait for the right time in the buying calendar.”

“The Access to Markets programme is an excellent resource, with experienced and knowledgeable professionals helping you on the journey.”