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Royal Bank of Scotland gives its backing to Taste of Grampian 2022

Royal Bank of Scotland director of commercial banking Russell Whyte.
Picture by Kenny Elrick
Royal Bank of Scotland director of commercial banking Russell Whyte. Picture by Kenny Elrick

When it comes to finding a bank that has a real appetite to help Scottish food and drink businesses, you’ll be pushed to find one hungrier than the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

The bank, which is once again supporting this year’s Taste of Grampian event, has been providing financial support and business advice to hundreds of businesses across the north-east over the last two difficult years.

Now RBS’ specialist food and drink sector team say there’s a real opportunity for these businesses to look to the future with optimism with sustainability playing a key part of that progression.

Taste of Grampian 2019 at the Thainstone Centre, Inverurie. Picture by Kenny Elrick

At this year’s Taste of Grampian show, its team of expert advisors will be on hand to speak to both people and businesses about how the bank can help them reduce their carbon footprint.

This year thousands of people are expected to attend the showcase on Saturday June 4 at P&J Live in Dyce, Aberdeen, from 9am to 6pm.

Sustainability the focus

RBS is a great supporter of the popular food and drink event having featured there since 1999.

It’s the first year the bank has chosen to have a theme for their stand, but for Russell Whyte, RBS commercial banking director, it’s a subject of great importance.

He said: “It’s obviously a big topic at the moment and one which will only continue to grow in significance.

“Growing numbers of customers are expecting the brands and businesses they buy from to have an ethical plan for reducing their carbon footprint and challenging global warming.

“That’s why we are supporting food and drink businesses to start thinking about the steps they can take. As well as helping the environment these businesses can benefit commercially too.”

Host of green options available

Visitors to the stand will have the opportunity to get a range of advice on how the bank can help them play their part to help the environment as Mr Whyte explained.

“We’ll be speaking to people and businesses about how the bank can help them to reduce their carbon footprint.

“This will include green loans and asset finance which effectively is discounted lending for businesses who want to borrow money for green purposes.

“We’ll also have information on green mortgages which offer discounted interest rates for people who take mortgages over homes that are more energy efficient.

“And the third thing we’ll be focusing on is our partnership with Octopus Energy.

“We have worked with Octopus now for a couple of years to provide customers with charging infrastructure funding solutions, giving them access to some of the latest renewable technologies alongside a range of 100% green tariffs.

“Those are the things we will be focusing on.”

How does RBS support local food producers?

The bank has been a great supporter of Taste of Grampian and has attended since its first year, something Mr Whyte says RBS is very proud of.

“We have sponsored those events for a number of years and will continue to do so again in the future.

“They really chime with the bank’s purpose of championing potential and helping people and businesses to thrive.

“There is clearly a huge crossover between the food & drink and agricultural sectors and both are hugely important for consumers and for the Scottish economy as a whole. But also, if you look at how much the food and drink sector exports that’s particularly crucial for Scotland.

“To support the industry, we’ve got a team of locally based relationship managers who are sector specialists and during the pandemic we’ve continued to provide significant support to customers.

“For us it’s not just about lending money, it’s about making sure that customers get the right advice for their business.”

RBS actively working with agriculture sector

Mr Whyte said the bank had specific approaches for the agriculture sector, where climate change is an increasingly important issue.

He said: “We are developing tools to help the sector become more sustainable, for example, we are currently working with The Sustainable Food Trust to develop a tool to allow farmers to measure their carbon footprint.

“We are also well aware of the challenges in the sector just now such as rising fuel costs, the current price of fertilizer and ongoing labour shortages.

“We understand the key issues and are committed to continue to support farmers through proactive conversations to try and help them. As such we remain highly supportive of the sector and will continue to be so.”

RBS also sponsors agricultural events The Turriff Show and The Royal Highland Show.

Tickets available for the event

Taste of Grampian is run in association with Quality Meat Scotland and is also supported by ANM Group, Opportunity North East, Aberdeenshire Council, The Press and Journal and Evening Express.

Tickets for the festival are priced at £13.50 and can be purchased here. Parking at P&J Live will also be free on the day.

Do you want to be involved? To sponsor the event email aimee.mitchell@dctmedia.co.uk or to become an exhibitor contact Jillian Burns at jillian.burns@ajl.co.uk

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