14th February 2011
Businesses in the Cairngorms National Park that have demonstrated exceptionally high standards when it comes to making and using local, seasonal produce have made it into a new Local Food & Drink Guide.
It has been been produced as part of the Cairngorms Food for Life Development Plan in partnership with the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), the Soil Association and the Cairngorms Business Partnership (CBP) and has been part financed by LEADER.
CNPA Board Member, Gordon Riddler, said: “We have some fantastic shops and restaurants in Deeside who are showing just how good produce grown or made locally can be.
“I congratulate these businesses for what they are doing for the Park’s economy – in effect by buying from their neighbours – and also their efforts to reduce food miles and help us towards being a low carbon National Park.”
The Cairngorms Business Partnership worked closely with local restaurants and producers and conducted extensive research to develop a criteria document to ensure businesses included in the Food & Drink Guide adhered to best practice when it came to locally produced fare.
Businesses were assessed on five criteria, which included how much produce the business sources locally; whether the business has an open and honest approach to describing where produce has come from; how far the premises and staff supports locally sourced food and how it conveys this to customers; the effort made to reduce food miles and carbon impact of purchases and; whether the business provides in season food when possible.
Alan Rankin, Chief Executive, Cairngorms Business Partnership, said: “We are delighted with the Food & Drink Guide – how it showcases the range of businesses in the Cairngorms National Park dedicated to supporting one another and producing local fare. It took a lot of research and work to produce the guide, but we understand that we are the first area in the UK to take a criteria-led approach to the national objective of supporting locally produced food.
“As a key UK tourism destination we find that visitors exploring our rural culture take a real interest in the local food & drink, they cherish this sort of authentic relationship with the producer or the business that can demonstrate the traceability and locality of the fare. Therefore, it was vital that those included in the guide met the standards we set out in the criteria document in order for residents and tourists to have a true insight into the businesses around the Park have the knowledge and passion for local food and celebrate our fantastic landscapes and delicious home-grown produce in their work every day.
Tony Fuell from The Auld Kirk in Ballater, which scored highly, said: “We are very fortunate to have a restaurant within the Cairngorms National Park and I think it is one of the best natural larders in the country. Initiatives like this help to promote the use and benefits a of good quality local produce that is able to be harvested seasonally and used at its best. Our ethos is that, wherever possible, we use local produce that is seasonal and fresh and it is what our customers expect.”
The Cairngorms National Park Food & Drink Guide contains a useful map making it easy to find businesses where you are. The Guide is free and available from businesses throughout the Park or online at visit cairngorms.com