Meet the Buyers 2017

A meet the buyer event will take place at The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte hotel in Edinburgh, on Tuesday 13 June, with the hotel’s Executive Chef Jeff Bland – who oversees the property’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Number One -  creating luxury canapés using produce from many of the suppliers.

It will bring together for the first time suppliers based in Scottish Borders, Midlothian and Edinburgh to showcase their produce to retailers, hoteliers and restaurateurs committed to using local produce.

Organised by Borders Railway Blueprint Partnership, Scotland Food & Drink and Connect Local, the event is part of a new campaign ‘Borders Rail More Connected’ to promote opportunities for businesses, investment and employment in the railway catchment area.

Lynn Mann of Midlothian-based Supernature Oils is hoping to attract new interest in her multi-award winning cold pressed rapeseed oil products at the event. The company was born when founder, and former psychotherapist, Lynn and husband Chris Mann, saw a downturn in commodity prices for the wheat and barley they were growing on their site at Carrington Barns Farm near Edinburgh.

The oils have become a firm favourite of top chefs including Martin Wishart and have won a number of awards in the past three years including Great Taste Awards for their Original, Chilli, Basil, Lime, Lemon and also White and Black truffle oils.

She said: “There is an abundance of small but ambitious producers in the area who are making local, healthy and fresh produce that consumers want to eat. This event is a fantastic opportunity for me, and the other suppliers, to showcase fabulous products that have great stories of provenance and that are of high quality because they are produced from the fertile lands of the Lothians and the Borders.

“The new railway has made it easier for us to take advantage of the capital’s large volume of tourists that are on our doorstep and I’m very much looking forward to promoting my products to a discerning Edinburgh audience.”

The Scottish food and drink industry is worth £14.4bn. More than 119,000 people are working directly in the industry and food manufacturing in Scotland is growing at twice the rate of the UK average for the sector. 

Chef Bland from The Balmoral hotel said: “I have always been a firm believer in supporting seasonal, local produce and investing in the local people who provide it. I take great pride in creating menus that champion the home grown, and as such, look forward bringing a taste of the Borders and Midlothian to this event by celebrating the fantastic produce on offer.”

Fiona Richmond of Scotland Food & Drink said: “If you’re from this area, you know you’ll always have great food at your fingertips. From Born in the Borders and Tempest Brewery in the Borders to Mighty Leaf Tea in Midlothian and Mara Seaweed in Edinburgh, we’re extremely lucky.

“But unfortunately for many of those living outwith the region it’s probably all a bit of a mystery. But that is starting to change thanks to our ongoing Borders Railway investment project, which is helping to attract more attention from larger corporate Edinburgh based retailers, caterers and wholesalers.

“We know from research that there is a greater consumer demand to buy and taste local produce so we’re hoping that this event will show that the area is open for business and will help to develop closer links between suppliers and buyers.”

To prepare for the meet the buyers event, suppliers will receive an intensive training day delivered by Scotland Food & Drink that will cover everything from understanding the market and consumers, to how to prepare and present to buyers.

Buyers interested in attending the event can contact Fiona Richmond of Scotland Food & Drink by emailing fiona@foodanddrink.scot or calling 0131 335 0947 / 07825290060.

If you would like to attend or arrange an interview with any of the suppliers listed below please RSVP to Julie Watt at Weber Shandwick by emailing jwatt@webershandwick.com or call 0131 460 3023.