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Cairngorms Food for Life planning development day – Friday 23 April

12th April 2010

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) and Soil Association Scotland are stepping up the drive to increase the amount of food and drink produced locally and eaten locally!

Anyone with an interest in food and drink production in and around the Cairngorms National Park is encouraged to come along to an event next Friday (23 April) to explore ways to increase food production and consumption across the Park. The Cairngorms Food for Life Planning Day at Glenmore Lodge, near Aviemore is taking place from 10am-1pm.

The event follows on from the recent survey conducted into the National Park’s food and drink sector which aimed to gather as much information as possible on who is out there, what they are producing and who is buying and selling it.

Ruathy Donald, Economic Development Officer at the CNPA said: “Next Friday’s planning event is the next stage in the development and implementation of the Cairngorms Food for Life Development Plan, which aims to get more schools, hospitals and communities using produce from their local area. We hope to get everyone with an interest together to discuss some of the findings of the survey and identify some of the key opportunities that are emerging and gather ideas on how to take these forward.”

Among the early initiatives emerging are the establishment of  ‘grow your own’ projects in communities and developing food  tourism initiatives across the National Park.

Lillian Kelly, Development Officer at the Soil Association said: “Food and drink production has significant potential to increase its contribution to the economic vitality of the Cairngorms National Park, by meeting growing public demand for local, healthy, low carbon food that is produced to high welfare standards. Around 45 per cent of visitor spending in the Highlands relates to food and drink, and we see a great opportunity to encourage and support further growth.”

CNPA board member Alastair MacLennan said: “Using the Park’s delicious local produce, whether in a restaurant or at school, will help improve health and wellbeing; provide educational opportunities; develop skills; create employment; and help our work towards creating a low carbon National Park.”