Minister to attend first rural summit

The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead MSP, will be among distinguished guests at a celebration of Aberdeenshire’s rural industries.

Key members of the farming, fishing, food and drink and rural tourism industries are expected to attend the inaugural Aberdeenshire’s Future Harvest from Land and Sea summit.

A limited number of spaces are available for those wanting to attend the event on May 16 at Canadian Hall, Haddo House, Ellon.

The conference will celebrate the significant strengths of Aberdeenshire’s rural industries, and discuss the conflicts and challenges they are facing, including connectivity and European policy and reform.

Aberdeenshire Provost Jill Webster will open the event and pave the way for a host of influential speakers, including: Richard Lochhead MSP; Jim Gifford, Aberdeenshire Council Leader; Stephen Archer, Aberdeenshire Council Director of Infrastructure Services; Peter Cook, P&L Cook and Partners; Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland; Kate Mavor, Chief Executive of National Trust for Scotland; and Bertie Armstrong, Chief Executive of Scottish Fishermen’s Federation.

Guests will be treated to a gourmet lunch cooked with food produced locally, showcasing the best of what Aberdeenshire’s food and drink industry has to offer.

Providers for the lunch include: The Smokehouse, Methlick; Mitchells Dairy, Inverurie; TPS Fruit and Veg, Turriff; Davidson’s Butcher, Inverurie and the Ythan Bakery, Ellon.

Mr Lochhead said: “As a land of food and drink, with a wealth of fine ingredients on our doorstep, it’s not a surprise that many of our rural firms are food and drink-related, providing much-needed employment as well as an economic boost.

“This event is a great opportunity to promote our rural industries, and the people who make them great.”

There will also be an opportunity to tour Haddo Estate and see Haddo House, the micro-hydro scheme and three containerised wood fuel boilers.

To book a place at the conference, go to: www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZP9HW6B

Please note places are limited to two bookings per company or organisation.