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Local Food News from Hi Local Food Network - May 2007

27th May 2007

Photograph of Local Food News from Hi Local Food Network - May 2007

Interested in Working with producers for their Gates Open Days?
HILFN will be recruiting several people on a short term contract to work with the farmers and growers who are taking part in the Gates Open events. This will involve planning for the day with them and being present on open days to offer assistance and promote the work of HILFN.
Email Georgia Macleod at Georgia[AT] for a job specification. Applications will need to be in by June 8th.

School dinners.
HILFN has been in the news this month, as our tender for The Highland Council catering contract on behalf of local food producers attracted press attention. Take a look at tofind out more.

And the Soil Association Scotland is putting together a document for schools that are looking to procure organic produce as part of the Soil Association 'Food For Life' programme. This specifies that school meals must be cooked from 75% fresh and unprocessed, 50% local, and 30% organic ingredients.

Lyn Matheson would like to hear form you if you have a product that you think should listed on the sourcing document or you are a company who maybe interested in having their details added
Contact Lyn on 0131 666 0847 or email her at LMatheson[AT]

HealthWays Together
HealthWays will be holding their fifth HealthWays Together event on Saturday 16th June 2007 at Invergordon Leisure Centre - all day from 9:30 to 16.00 - and are looking for local fruit & veg growers who might like to have a stand.
You can be there for just the morning or the afternoon if that suits better. To find out more: contact Susanne on Susanne.StandishWhite[AT]

Connage Highland Dairy, Winners of the 2006 'New Business & New Product Award
Highlands and Islands Food & Drink Awards 2007 It's time to get your entries in for The Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards.

Now in their third year, these awards celebrate locally grown and processed food and drink products, and industry related services. They also recognise the successes of individual businesses and their contribution to the local economy.

There are nine different award categories, including two new awards for 2007 - Best Use of Local Food & Drink and Entry to a New Market - and the Excellence Award which is presented to the overall winner, selected from all the entries. Other Categories are: New Product, New Business, Innovation, Health Enhancement, Environment and Individual Contribution.

The closing date for entries is 2 July 2007, and the Awards Ceremony will be held on 14 September 2007 in the Drumossie Hotel.

For further information on all the categories and application details email Shona on shona[AT] or telephone 01599 534999

Strathcarron - the place to learn new skills
The Strathcarron centre is running a whole host of rural skills course over the next few weeks - if you're tempted by one, find out more by contacting Kristine on 01520 722882 or email her at info[AT]

Pesticides & Knapsack Sprayer PA1 and PA6 plus assessment - May 29,30th,
Strathcarron - 162 - 2 places remaining Felling Medium Trees - June 25 - 27, Lochcarron - 90

Felling Windblown Trees - June 28, 29, Lochcarron - 75
Basic Chainsaw - June 18 - 22, Strathcarron - 157 - 2 places remaining

Sheep Shearing for Novices - June 15, 16, Strathcarron

Happy piglets at the Highland Hog and Ham Company
Companionship, comfort, space - good for pigs, good for costs The Worldwatch Institute reports on a research report from Iowa State University that advocates rearing sows in group hoop houses - pens that allow the animals to nest in straw and walk freely. A two-year study found that sows in hoop houses had more live births than those in confinement facilities. Researchers also found that group housing can reduce production costs by as much as 11% compared to pigs raised in gestation crates.
To see the full report take a look at:

No beef with organic demand
Demand for organic beef remains high - that was the message at a Soil Association Conference at Stoneleigh in March- when delegates were given the results of the Red Meat Industry Forum's research 'The UK Market for Organic Beef'.

This anticipates that an extra 15-20,000 head of organic cattle will be required to supply the market by 2010, and that this could rise to as much as 36,000 if UK farmers were to make inroads into the 40% market share currently taken up by imported organic beef.

To find out more take a look at the full report on

Our spring newsletter is just out - so if you don't have one and wouldlike a copy, get in touch. And don't forget to check out the HILFN website for other events, expert tips and local food news

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