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Training For Potential Local Food Producers

16th November 2005

The Highlands and Islands Local Food Network (HILFN) is on the look-out for trainee food producers to help expand the availability of locally grown fruit and vegetables.

HILFN is planning to run a one-year programme to provide in-depth training to help small agricultural producers in the Highlands and Islands establish successful new businesses based on the supply of fresh horticultural produce to local customers.

Jo Hunt of HILFN said: "There is strong demand for local produce across the Highlands, and we are keen to encourage those who are interested to set up businesses to satisfy this demand.

"We plan to run a series of three or four-day training events each month for a period of around 10 months starting in February 2006. These will cover the full range of skills from planning and propagation to storage and marketing. The course will be based at local farms and gardens, with input from Scottish Agricultural College, funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and recognition by LANTRA, the Sector Skills Council for the environmental and land-based sector."

The courses will be held in the inner Moray Firth, based around Forres, Nairn and the Black Isle and north-west Highlands, based around Gairloch, Ullapool and Kinlochbervie.

A pilot course will begin in February 2006 and HILFN is holding meetings for anyone who is interested in joining this course. The meeting for inner Moray Firth will take place on Thursday 24th November at Dingwall Mart at 10am and the north-west Highlands meeting will take place on Monday 21st November at the Ceilidh Place, Argyll Street, Ullapool, also starting at 10am.

More information is available at http://www.hilocalfood.net or you can contact Highlands and Islands Local Food Network on 01381 600525.

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