Businesses from across the Outer Hebrides were invited to come together to drive the use of local produce at two workshops organised by Seafood Scotland last week on the 9th and 10th of April.
Scotland’s local food and drink advisory service, Connect Local, in partnership with Outer Hebrides Tourism and Highlands & Islands Enterprise, were hosting two highly-informative, free of charge sessions, on 9th & 10th April on North Uist and Isle of Harris respectively, aimed at businesses from across the spectrum, from those who produce local food to those who buy, cook, serve, sell & distribute it.
Covering topics ranging from how to enhance local sourcing; grow sales and promote food and drink provenance, businesses learned practical tips on how to make the most of the islands’ larder, form valuable connections and boost the demand and use of the exceptional produce that the area is renowned for. Guests heard from a team of experts including Chef John Watret, whose experience spans everything from The Three Chimneys and Formula One.
Chef John Watret showcased a range of ingredients available from the island. With Seafood being a core source of food on the island, Trade Marketing Manager Clare Dean from Seafood Scotland has worked heavily with regional seafood producers and distributors to ensure they are involved, utilising 12 seafood items from across six seafood suppliers.
With Scotland on a mission to become a globally-renowned food tourism destination and double the visitor spend on food and drink, these workshops play a key role in inspiring businesses to get involved in the recently-launched national action plan and strengthen the sourcing and promotion of local produce around the islands.
Rob McKinnon, Chief Executive, Outer Hebrides Tourism, said:
“The Outer Hebrides is home to some of the best fresh produce in the country. From seafood and smoked salmon to gin and black pudding, our islands offer high-quality local produce with a story behind it. These workshops provide an excellent occasion for all types of tourism businesses to work together and give our visitors every opportunity to try the local products they are eager to taste during their stay on the islands”
Joanna Peteranna, Account Manager at HIE in the Outer Hebrides, said:
“We are delighted to support these free events which have been specifically developed for businesses in the islands. They will provide a great opportunity to meet experts and gain an insight into creating inspiring menus, developing catering, as well as using more local ingredients. Food and drink is a hugely important part of what we have to offer our visitors and this event gives businesses a chance to explore the importance of a well-stocked natural larder which supplies both local consumers and international markets”
About Connect Local
Connect Local is a free advisory service for the local Scottish food and drink sector. It is delivered by a team of experts from SAC, SAOS, Scotland Food & Drink, Seafood Scotland, funded by the Scottish Government and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund www.connectlocal.scot