Annual Conference

Grow local. Grow global. Realising our ambitions for sustainable, profitable growth.

In an uncertain world, understanding the challenges and knowing how to capitalise on the opportunities will be crucial to continued business success.

At this year’s Scotland Food & Drink Conference you will hear from influential industry speakers and innovative brand leaders who will dive deep into the challenges and the opportunities that exist across Scottish, UK and International markets and bring to life what the future holds for the Scottish food and drink sector.  


Register here

Andrea Rasca, Founder & CEO at Mercato Metropolitano

Andrea Rasca is the Founder and 'Chief Executive Dreamer' of the Mercato Metropolitano Movement. With a degree in Economics in Italy and Spain, a first Masters in Management in Tokyo, and a second in International Relations from Fletcher School in Boston, Andrea is a passionate advocate of Right to Food.

Over the past 25 years he has gained a broad experience within the food sector, focusing on the design and implementation of internationalization strategies for major Italian food companies (including the development of nine branches of Eataly in Japan). More recently, he has broadened his expertise by focusing on the development of a more holistic and coordinated approach to sustainable food systems that are community-led to enhance the positive impact on our environment, societies, and nutritional health.

In 2014, he brought his experiences together and developed the inspiring new sustainable retail concept of Mercato Metropolitano, a movement which a UK journalist termed as "the standard-bearer for the renaissance of inner cities"

Anthony Davidson, Founder and Managing Director of BigBarn

Anthony Davidson is a fifth generation farmer with a mission to reconnect consumers with their local producers and build sustainable communities around food. 

This is done through a constantly updating and evolving, shared, local food map that displays over 9,000 local businesses as icons accessed by typing in a postcode.  The map gets between 5,000-10,000 visitors per day and is shared with 100+ other websites. 

Many producers have also opted to set up online shops in the BigBarn MarketPlace where consumers can click and buy.

BigBarn is a social enterprise to gain the buy in of stakeholders.


Gill Sherwin, Operations Director at Best of British Beer

Gill Sherwin is the Co Founder of Best of British Beer, an online retailer specialising in craft beer and gifts.

Gill started her career at Direct Line, Glasgow in 1992 before transferring to Leeds and spending the next 20 years working for a variety of direct to consumer, financial services brands where leveraging technology and consumer demand for online products and services created huge growth opportunities.

Best of British Beer was formed by Gill and her husband Will who had spent 25 years in the Licensed trade. It provides customers with a curated choice and independent breweries with a route to market. Their products are stocked by Selfridges, Funky Pigeon and They also offer fulfilment to brewers who would rather spend their time brewing than sourcing cardboard boxes and dealing with couriers.

This year, Best of British Beer became employee owned when Will & Gill transferred 51% of their shares to an employee ownership trust to reward their loyal team who have been such a big part of their growth.

Jason Stewart, Head of Marketing for Donald Russell

Jason has been working in digital marketing roles within the F&B and travel sectors for 14 years and is a specialist and advocate for e-commerce.  Currently holding the position of Head of Marketing at Donald Russell, Jason is responsible for leading a team of talented marketers to the delivery of multi-channel creative campaigns using a combination of digital and traditional methods driving customers to

Donald Russell is a well-established in the world of e-commerce, and F&B generally – with hundreds of thousands of customers shopping regularly to enjoy award-winning, restaurant-quality food that’s delivered direct to their door.  

A multi-award-winning marketer, Jason has a wide breadth of knowledge within the e-commerce and digital space including website design, UX, conversion rate optimisation, SEO, PPC, personalisation, eCRM and more.  Jason believes that although e-commerce is an ever-evolving and often technical and confusing topic, the fundamentals of creating a frictionless, enjoyable and inspiring experience have remained unchanged throughout the years. 

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