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Scottish food and drink firms feature in London showcase

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Food and drink companies from the Highlands and Islands have spearheaded a sortie to a key London exhibition to showcase their wares.

Six companies from the Highlands and Islands are on the Scottish Pavilion at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair at London Olympia, which ends tomorrow.

Soup maker Baxter’s; Cullisse Highland Rapeseed Oil; Stag Bakeries; The Hebridean Food Company; Henshelwoods Fine Foods and Walkers Shortbread are taking part in the show, which is expected to be the biggest yet with over 800 firms exhibiting and more than 12,000 visitors expected over the three days.

Charlie Macdonald, owner of Stag Bakeries, said the exhibition was a “key event” for the Stornoway-based firm which specialises in making savoury treats from seaweed among other things

“The show enables us to meet with existing customers and to promote our brand to prospective buyers, whether they are from the UK or overseas,” said Mr Macdonald.

“We are confident that the show will provide us with lots of sales leads which will help to continue to grow the Stag brand.

“Furthermore, we are absolutely delighted to have attained another three-star Great Taste Award for our Seaweed Oatcake. The awards are very prestigious especially as each product is blind-tasted by a panel of industry experts and therefore provide a benchmark for quality. Awards are given just on taste and there is no influence with fancy, decorative packaging.”

Elaine Jamieson, head of food and drink at Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), said: “The Speciality and Fine Food fair offers ambitious businesses a very real opportunity to get into new markets and win more orders.

“It is fantastic to see the Highlands and Islands represented at events such as this in London, and others right across the world, by such high quality businesses. HIE is delighted, during the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015, to be working with our industry partners, Scotland Food and Drink to make sure businesses right across our region get the most from this event.”

Scotland Food and Drink’s Access to Markets manager Stephanie Pritchard said: “Speciality provides a great opportunity for producers to show what makes our country a Land of Food and Drink.

“Scottish chef Mark Greenaway will be at the show cooking with produce from the pavilion- he’s always championing the quality of Scotland’s offering and has a cracking recipe to demonstrate.

”Our exhibitors represent a great range of food and drink companies from long-established to recent start-ups who all employ traditional artisanal skills and innovation in the creation of their products. London and the speciality market are key for the growth of the Scottish food and drink industry and the show has proved a successful outlet for our producers and this is our seventh year of exhibiting at the show.”

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