Today (Tuesday, 30 January) at Westminster, twelve companies representing some of the very best food and drink producers Argyll & Bute has to offer, wow’d MPs, Peers and perhaps more importantly, some of London’s most important food and drink buyers at a Food Expo organised by local MP Brendan O’Hara.
The high profile event, ‘A Taste of Argyll and Bute’ was co-hosted by Eleanor, Duchess of Argyll and was supported by the Food from Argyll group.
Among those welcomed to parliament by Mr O’Hara were Loch Fyne Oysters, The Scottish Salmon Company, Bute Brewery, Mull of Kintyre Cheese, the Puffer from Easdale, Argyll Hill Lamb, Fyne Ales, Lochawe Smokehouse, The Slate Island Seaweed Company, Ritchie’s of Bute, Gigha Halibut and Lussa Gin from Jura.
Apart from treating dozens of MPs and Lords to some fantastic locally produced food and drink, those who made the 1000 mile round trip to London also had the opportunity to meet and discuss business with several high-end shop buyers as well as representatives and chefs from some quality London restaurants.
Also on hand at Westminster to lend their support to the event were representatives from Argyll and Bute Council, Highland and Islands Enterprise and The Food and Drink Federation.
Mr. O’Hara said afterwards,
“This is something I have wanted to do for some time. I honestly believe that Argyll and Bute produces some of the finest food and drink in the world and I wanted to showcase this here in Westminster . I was determined that this wasn’t just a tasting event and I wanted as many of the top-end buyers along to sample what we have to offer. It would be absolutely wonderful if as a result of this event, our producers returned to Argyll & Bute with some orders on their books or some new business leads. I am very grateful to my co-host, Eleanor the Duchess of Argyll and ‘Food from Argyll’ who have given fantastic support for this event and to everyone who attended and made this such a success”.
Eleanor, The Duchess of Argyll who was equally delighted and impressed with the event added,
“We knew that an offering of some of the best in food from Argyll would be a draw, but the response to one of Scotland’s most famous food destinations was amazing. The room was packed and the enthusiasm for the produce from across Argyll was fantastic”.
Claire Fletcher from Lussa Gin who travelled all the way from the Isle of Jura to showcase their gin which they romantically describe as ‘as fresh and wild as the island they live on’ said of the experience,
“We’ve had a great afternoon here at Westminster and have made some really useful contacts as well as setting foot inside one of the most iconic buildings in the UK. And people must have enjoyed their Lussa Gin as we ran out of tonic!”
Jennifer Nicol, of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, also gave the event her support saying;
“This event has provided a great opportunity to demonstrate a sample of the quality produce available from the Argyll region, and the fantastic experience and enthusiasm of the producers involved. We hope to see even more Argyll produce in the restaurants and food stores throughout the UK, and look forward to working with the businesses involved as they further expand their markets in the UK and internationally.”
And Virginia Sumison, Co-ordinator at Food from Argyll, the umbrella group for producers who supported the event and who describe the region as Scotland’s ‘natural larder’ finished off by saying,
“We are delighted by the turnout at the House of Commons today and it has been very useful in making new contacts and meeting up with old friends and new. My thanks to Brendan for organising and hosting such a super event”.
All Images credited to Kevin McGlynn
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