Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A Review of 2011 Ayrshire Food Network Activity

On  22nd December 2011 AFN members were present at the very successful Paisley  Christmas farmers' market 09.00-13.00  at County Square    ...with relatively mild,  be  it ,windy  weather forecast and a very wide range of  produce including seasonal offerings  available ,a visit  was very enjoyable  ... thanks for coming  and buying the wonderful food ..an excellent opportunity to obtain seasonal, and  Christmas produce.

On Tuesday  29th  November  2011 Petrie Fine foods gained national recognition having been shortlisted in two categories of the VIBES Awards  for environmental sustainability During the previous  week  several  Ayrshire  food network producers were involved in the high profile opening of the Wholefoods Store in Giffnock...We hope the venture is  a great success with subsequent ripple effects  of reorders to their  chosen local suppliers. Dunlop Dairy  have been featured  on  one  of their supplier  profile.

Saturday 5th  november saw  a special celebration farmers' market at Ayr  with several new stallholders, including the impressive  www.everythingchilli.co.uk+ hot food to go  + guest craft,fair trade and charity stalls selling Christmas gifts  Thanks to everyone for coming ,in  particular our first time visitors  who came  and joined the fun and  took advantage to buy  fresh, local , quality,value for money food from the  stallholders  present .We hope you enjoyed your visit ,and look forward to welcoming you again on  February 3rd  

Here are two links with the story: http://ayrshire.urtv.co.uk/stories/1028-ayrshire-farmers-market http://urstv.com/archives/2011/11/10/update-on-ayrshire-farmers-markets/

Warmest  congratulations  to two  AFN  members ,Braidwoods and Glenapp Castle for their  outstanding Michelin Star success for 2011. A  Real Inspiration to us all.  The   weekend  21/22/23 October saw many members at  various  significant events  The BBC Good Food show + the very popular  quarterly Kilwinning farmers market  on Saturday 22nd  + the inaugural  apple tastic day  at West Kilbride  community centre : for  the  latter see www.transitionwk.org

AFN  were well presented at the Recipe for Success workshop   run  by Scottish Land & Estates at Dalduff  farm  ,Crosshill September 28th  ,and were  delighted to be involved in the inaugural  WSW Heritage meeting at Dumfries House on October 4th .   Flavoursome Produce from  Nethergate ,Afton Glen  and GC Growers were served  at the  artisan  Scottish food  lunches at the  very well attended Nourish national conference at Govan  on October 1st Earlier AFN were  represented  at the Nourish Sustainable food day at Catrine  on September 9th ,making contributions to the debate on  public procurement  and encouraging local food availability , see www.nourishscotland.org.uk

Recently 6 stallholders  from  AFN/AFM  were  trading at the Global Market  at  Kilmarnock  from the  1st-4th  September which presented  them with  a great opportunity to reach  a wider market  and  hence potential customer base  for locally provisioned  Ayrshire  food  3 other members  were represented  at the inaugural Whitelees Wind  Farm    farmers' market which was blessed by near perfect weather ....certainly a very  interesting  and worthwhile experiment  see www.whiteleewindfarm.co.uk

AFN  member,  Chisholms  of Ayr  has reinforced its   position as  a leading delicatessen   in south west Scotland  having been invited by Iain  Mellis the  renowned speciality cheese wholesaler to stock  some outstanding interesting  Scottish   cheeses  from their acclaimed range .Kevin Wadsworth ,the proprietor, is naturally delighted and invites potential customers  to visit his premises at 17 Carrick street  Ayr.- KA7 1NS. More details can be found at www.chisholmsofayrdeli.com or by calling him on 01292 269555.  

Have you heard of ,or visited the hidden gem in  Kilmaurs?. We are talking  about the exciting slightly decadent   cake/chocolate  and  tea  shop  which  has  recently  been opened by Divine Inspirations owner  Maxine Gough.Quietly  endulge yourself  with friends  or even children! It is located  at 4, Townend, Kilmaurs. Check out details at www.lovedivineinspirations.com

 If you are looking for that amazing special break  then look no further than our  most southerly  member the outstanding award wining Glenapp Castle ,ideally situated  if you  looking for  a  very  high quality   experience . see www.glenappcastle.com. On June 8th a direct link was created from  a leading  German travel web portal to the AFN site see the link at: http://www.schottlandberater.de/expertenteam.html  this follows meetings at Tourism Expo in April.

On  Thursday 22nd  September several members  again  supported the  small and attractive  community market at Uplawmoor church hall. 10.00-12.00.produce available includes rare breeds meat,home baking,vegetarian and gluten free food,hand  made butter, local farmhouse cheeses ,farm sourced ice cream ,flowers plants  & herbs ..as always  they   also  provide   a  great  cup of tea!

Very  exciting  also  was the  bold  and  innovative event which was   held in George  Square Glasgow   on  the 14th may  when you could achieve "Island Time in no Time "  as Arrran with  a very full array of  activities  ranging from  cookery demonstrtions ,tastings ,music,massage,art,  and even  rock climbing  came  to town   big style !!    At Hamleys Easter time  farmers market adventure  Fresh local  Produce from  Corrie Mains,GC Growers, and  Dowhill  was on  display ,whilst tasting samples of milk and cheese  were supplied by Dunlop Dairy,and cakes from Petrie Fine Foods .Watch out for news of the event  plus a  web site video  at  www.hamleys.com  AFN were delighted to exhibit again at Tourism Expo April 13-14th 2011 in Aberdeen. We were on stand A1-A3 Ayrshire & Arran right beside the main Visit Scotland  reception. We met many trade buyers, exhibitors and tourism trade professionals ..there was an appointments system in place via  www.visitscotlandexpo.com.

During the two days we had  meetings with 35 trade buyers  from as far afield as Hawaii, Toronto, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, Ukraine, India, as well as 10 from the UK They all are interested in varying aspects of food& activity tourism. We have been following up these leads proactively  and promptly,and  some of them are following us avidly on Twitter On Wednesday 16TH March 2011 AFN presented at the ASVA seminar in Alloway regarding the realities /advantages of local food supply to visitor attraction establishments. February 14th 2011 saw  food  or ingredients  from several  AFN /AFM  members used at the NFUS annual conference dinner in St andrews .500 guests enjoyed an amazing  5 course dinner .We were delighted to be involved  in the sourcing project .

During the AFN seminar tour  live fromTartu Hotel ,Voru,Viljandi & Rakvere in Estonia we had V3 international link ups during the last week of January2011. A considerable number of participants have visited the website subsequently. The 2011 version of our leaflet  was  published  electronically with enhanced layout  ,the planned  inclusion of the vibrant new pan Ayrshire branding, a new  map, an overview of aims and objectives, plus 8 advertising slots.

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