Agriculture & Associated Services News
SAC has been awarded nearly £152,000 by the European Social Fund (ESF) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to fund the continuation of a training project in the highlands and islands area. The renewed funding will support the project from August 2006 to July 2007.
North Highland Products - the operating company for the Mey Selections brand - has reported turnover of over £1.2m in its first five months of operation, with over £140,000 gained in premium payments to farmers by the end of March this year for branded beef and lamb. Mey Selections was launched by The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay in August 2005 as part of his North Highland Initiative, which aims to boost the North Highlands economy by promoting its produce, tourism and the built environment.
A new soft blue cheese Highland Blue, specially developed by Tain cheese-maker Rory Stone for the North Highland Initiative's Mey Selections brand, is set to become a national festive favourite following a Gold medal-winning launch at the recent Cheltenham Cheese Festival. The flavour and quality of the new soft blue cheese, described as: 'Tangy and long; a soft rich blue with creamy notes and a mellow aftertaste', has now attracted the attention of buyers from food retail giant Sainsbury who have launched it on their delicatessen counters in 23 Sainsbury stores in time for the festive season.
SAC is organising a series of meetings throughout the Highlands and Islands which aim to help farmers and crofters understand how the new Single Farm Payment Scheme works. The meetings will take place over the next six weeks (see below for times and venues) prior to the deadline for IACS applications on 16 May 2005.