Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink goes global with UNESCO biospheres
Recruited from European members of the UNESCO Global Biosphere Network, participants will include a wild sheep farmer from Norhordland, a wild food gatherer from North Karelia and a producer of apples and sherry from the Rhone.
On Saturday and Sunday, producers will connect with consumers through online markets and a busy calendar of video presentations, discussions on the sustainable food tourism offering and interactive sessions co-hosted with UNESCO Biospheres, The Scottish Food Guide and Slow Food.
The festival is supported by Ballantrae Community Development Trust and last year’s Covid-friendly format saw more than 7,000 visitors engage online, up from 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.
Dr Mhairi Mckenna, Organizing Group Ballantrae, said: “We are delighted that UNESCO Biospheres are supporting this important initiative and bringing a strategic international perspective to our regional event.
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.
Marie McNulty, Business Development Manager at the UNESCO Galloway and South Ayrshire Biosphere, appealed to the organization’s international contacts for the biosphere.
She said: “Many learning opportunities arise from transnational exchanges, 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 to make our food systems sustainable ”.