The award-winning Ballantrae food and drink festival will take place online again this year.
Following last year’s success, the festival is expanding its virtual reach by partnering with Norway, Finland and Germany.
And it aims to offer foodies a program filled with online markets, video presentations, discussions on sustainable food tourism and interactive sessions organized in collaboration with UNESCO Biospheres, The Scottish Food Guide and Slow Food.
Participants will understand; a farmer of wild sheep from Norhordland, a gatherer of wild foods from North Karelia and a producer of apple-sherry from Rhon – whose apple-sherry is aged in casks of Scotch whiskey.
The festival – which takes place this weekend on Saturday June 12 and Sunday June 13 – is supported by Ballantrae Community Development Trust and the revolutionary format adapted to last year’s Covid saw more than 7,000 visitors engage in line, compared to around 3,000 to 4,000 in previous events.
Organizers hope to build on that commitment this year with the benefit of additional funding partners and with support from the Scotland Food and Drink Regional Food Group, whose coordinators have been working with the Ballantrae team since October 2020.
Dr Mhairi Mckenna, Organizing Group Ballantrae (BFFD), said the team was “delighted that UNESCO biospheres are supporting this important initiative”.
Howard Wilkinson, Chairman of the Ayrshire Food Network, added: “The additional resources that SFAD funding has provided us over the past nine months have enabled us to engage more broadly with food tourism businesses across the South. west of Scotland.
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Marie McNulty, Business Development Manager at the UNESCO Galloway and South Ayrshire Biosphere, appealed to the organization’s international contacts for the biosphere.
Marie said: “Many learning opportunities arise from transnational exchanges and we want to bring our global network to the heart of the Ayrshire and Ballantrae communities.
“And the Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink is the perfect time to do so, especially in light of the 50th anniversary of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program, which aims to improve the relationship between people and the environment and make our food systems sustainable. “
For more information on the organizations involved, visit www.ballantraefoodfest.com; www.ayrshirefoodnetwork.co.uk; www.gsabiosphere.org.uk
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