Feedback from local food and drink events

We will also  launch a Think Local Facebook page to build business contacts and to promote local food and drink.

Over the last few months crofters, caterers, hoteliers and shop owners have attended meetings throughout the Highlands as part of the council’s Think Local Highland Food and Drink project aimed at enabling better collaboration in this sector.

The events in Portree, Fort William, Poolewe, Thurso, Dornoch, Dingwall, Lochinver and Grantown were all well attended and the over-riding consensus to come out of discussions has been the need to improve communications through better use of social media.

The Council has organised a social media workshop to take place between 2pm-4pm on Friday 28th March  at the National Hotel in Dingwall. Anyone interested in reserving a place on the workshop should contact Sarah Allen on 07927055397.

Vice-Chair of the Council’s Planning, Environment and Development Committee, Councillor George Farlow said:  “Our series of Think Local events gave people the opportunity to come together and discuss ways to boost this important sector and we are already seeing closer partnerships forging.  Destination Skye and Locahalsh have managed to link their local food and drink producers up with a tourism business and they’ll be a special information day taking place at Talisker Distillery on Thursday 27 March. 

“Participants wanted to improve the promotion of local events and therefore wished to create local food listings and clusters. This meant enhancing communication with other businesses, widening the range of contacts and thus enabling better connections between buyers and sellers. We will therefore be setting up a Highland Local Food and Drink Facebook page and we’re now looking for local food and drink champions to help us promote it and connect it to existing networks.

“The workshop in Dingwall is a chance for people from across the Highlands who may already be using Facebook to promote their business, to come along and find out how they can help make this new network work for their locality as well as their own business.”

Other suggestions to come forward from the Think Local series of events include producing on-line directories for local producers and providers, hotels commissioning groups of small producers to work together to supply food and the setting up of Meet The Buyer events.

A report on the Think Local Food and Drink project will be presented at the Council’s Planning, Environment and Development Committee in May.
Anyone who has not yet taken part in the on-line surveys for buyers and producers has until 17 March to give their comments and responses.

5 Mar 2014
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