Shetland Food and Drink Association - New Chair

by Elizabeth Atia -

Marian Armitage, award-winning food author, has been confirmed as the Chair of the new Shetland Food & Drink Association.

Armitage, who recently won the ’Best Local Cuisine, Scotland’ in the Gourmand World Cookbooks Award for her book Shetland Food & Cooking, takes the Chair with immediate effect.

She says, "Shetland's food and drink industry generates millions of pounds for Shetland's economy and employs thousands of people. The industry not only comprises household names, but many growing, ambitious companies working right across Shetland.

Last autumn’s very successful Food Fair, organised under the auspices of the Shetland Food Producers’ Group, showed us that there is a huge local passion for the food and drink produced by Shetland companies.

In addition, there’s growing interest from outwith Shetland in the full range of food and drink which Shetland produces.

It’s perfect timing to form this new group, taking best practice from the former Shetland Food Producers’ Group to create a larger body which not only brings companies of all sizes together to share experiences and knowledge, but also helps to shine a light on Shetland’s fantastic larder outside of Shetland."

“For the first time, we will have a group which includes the full scale of Shetland food and drink, not just artisan producers,” she adds. “We are in the process of working out our structure and membership model but we have confirmed Rhanna Turberville, Brewery Manager at Lerwick Brewery, as Secretary and Jill Franklin, Founder of Shetlandeli, as Treasurer.

We’re looking forward to not only reaching out to the larger players in the industry but to people who are just starting out in food and drink.

The Association is there for very small-scale producers just as much as it is for the established companies.”

The Shetland Food & Drink Association’s aims are to:

  • grow and develop Shetland’s Food and Drinks sector
  • bring together Shetland’s producers to share experiences and learn from each other
  • help businesses work collaboratively to reduce costs in distribution, packaging and marketing
  • act as a collective voice
  • proudly promote and market Shetland produce both locally and in external markets
  • involve children and schools and emphasise the benefits of using home-produced food
  • work with other businesses and groups to increase the use of Shetland produce in the local market

The Association will also organise the annual Shetland Food Fair, which this year will be held from Friday 28 October to Sunday 30 October 2016. The event will return to the Clickimin Leisure Centre following its success last year.

Born in Lerwick and brought up in Shetland, Marian Armitage studied at Anderson High School and then trained as a teacher of Domestic Science in Edinburgh in the early 1970s. For almost 35 years she taught Food and Nutrition mostly in London state secondary schools in both Islington and Hammersmith & Fulham. She now spends increasingly longer periods of time at the family home in Scatness and is the author of the award-winning Shetland Food and Cooking which was published by The Shetland Times in November 2014.

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