Business support

Food and drink workshops held in the Outer Hebrides

Businesses in the Outer Hebrides are invited to attend two workshops next month which focus on local food and drink.

Scotland’s local food and drink advisory service, Connect Local, in partnership with Outer Hebrides Tourism and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, (HIE) are hosting two highly-informative, free of charge sessions, on 9-10 April on North Uist and Isle of Harris respectively.

The event is aimed at businesses from across the spectrum, from those who produce food and drink to those who buy, cook, serve, sell and distribute it.

Topics range from how to enhance local sourcing; grow sales and promote food and drink provenance. Businesses will learn practical tips on how to make the most of the islands’ larder, from valuable connections and boost the demand and use of the exceptional produce that the area is renowned for. Guests will hear from a team of experts including Chef John Watret, whose experience spans from The Three Chimneys and Formula One.

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. It also strengthens 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”

Ceri Ritchie, Project Manager, Connect Local, said: “As a service dedicated to promoting and growing the country’s local food economy, we would encourage as many businesses as possible from both food and drink and tourism sectors to take part and work together to enhance the area’s reputation as a destination for outstanding quality produce”

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