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    The Best Of The Northern Isles
02/03/06

The best of Orkney and Shetland food and drink will be on the menu at the NFU Scotland Annual Dinner, taking place at the St Andrews Bay Hotel on Thursday 2 March 2006.

photo courtesy of ShetlandFood.com

The Shetland Food Company

Orkney and Shetland region won the bid to host the 2006 NFUS AGM and Annual Dinner and will therefore be providing the full menu for the event. In addition, businessmen from Orkney and Shetland will be giving talks to the AGM delegates, to demonstrate how successful branding has worked for the Northern Isles.

In addition, many Orcadian and Shetland arts and crafts will be on display, showcasing the very best skills and creativity from the islands.

Much hard work has gone into the organisation of the event by Orkney Enterprise and Shetland Islands Council.

Maureen Shearer of Orkney Enterprise said:

“We were delighted to be given the chance to help showcase Orkney at this prestigious event, and are pleased that local producers were keen to become involved. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate that Orkney produces the highest quality products across the sectors.”

The sentiment was echoed by Kevin Moreland of Shetland Islands Council who expressed both his gratitude at receiving the opportunity to showcase the best of the Shetland Islands and the commitment of the islanders to producing quality produce and creating a world renowned brand.

The man behind the menu for the Annual Dinner is award-winning Foveran Hotel chef Paul Doull. His starter consists of smoked salmon, crab and lobster timbale with dressed leaves and beremeal bannocks. Foveran fillet steak is the main course, topped with sautéed onions and local haggis and finished with a creamy whisky sauce. The mouthwatering sweet will be Orkney fudge cheesecake with Orkney ice cream and the finale will consist of renowned Orkney cheeses.

The UK’s most northerly winery is supplying port for each table to complement the fine cheeses and whisky lovers will be delighted to discover that a famous Orkney single malt makes a welcome reappearance at the end of the meal.

Also contributing to the ‘Orkney Factor’ at the NFUS event will be Edgar Balfour, managing director of Orkney Meat, who is to talk on Thursday afternoon on the marketing of Orkney Island Gold, and Ken Grant, chief executive of Orkney Enterprise, who will talk about Orkney the Brand. Karl Simpson, marketing manager of Shetland Livestock Marketing Group will also deliver a talk as part of the Thursday afternoon policy workshops.

The Orkney the Brand strategy was formed in January 2004 and the scheme helps to build and develop Orkney as a strong brand across the sectors and encourages group marketing activities and initiatives. Orkney Meat is one of the main participants in the Orkney the Brand initiative.

Taste Shetland is the meat trading arm of the Shetland Livestock Marketing Group, a farmer co-operative of some 300 members. Taste Shetland is based in Lerwick and was formed in 2005.

The aim of the workshops at which the representatives are speaking, is to demonstrate how successful local branding has been for the Northern Isles and how the thinking behind this success story can be transferred to other parts of Scotland and to all sectors of agriculture.

Stewart Wood, chairman of the Orkney and Shetland regional board, said:

“Orkney and Shetland have an excellent reputation for marketing and selling our products, and this is a great opportunity for the whole community. Agriculture lies at the heart of the community in the Northern Isles and it is important for us to not only showcase our food but also the other products which come together to make Orkney the Brand. The role of Orkney Enterprise and Shetland Islands Council has been crucial to the success of this event and it is with their support that we are able to put the best that the Northern Isles has to offer on show.

“What we are offering over the next two days is an opportunity to have a look through the shop window of the Northern Isles and to learn from the success stories of Orkney and Shetland business and agriculture.”

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