A range of local food and drink producers took their goods to Westminster this week for a ‘Taste of East Lothian’ event hosted by Martin Whitfield MP during this year’s Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight.

Organised in partnership with East Lothian, Scotland’s Food & Drink County and East Lothian Council, the event gave politicians, staff and visitors the opportunity to sample some of East Lothian’s finest produce and find out more about the county’s food and drink excellence.

Around 50 MPs, including the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, and his Scottish Labour counterpart, Lesley Laird, attended the drop-in event. Well over one hundred researchers, other parliamentary staff and visitors also stopped by to enjoy the samples on offer.

The local producers represented at the event were Black & Gold, Chocolate Tree, Thistly Cross Cider, Eyeball Brewing, Hood’s Scottish Honey, Yester Farm Dairies, Brodies 1867, NB Distillery, Aelder Elixir, The Spice Witch, L&C Artisan and Belhaven Smokehouse.

Speaking after the event, Martin Whitfield MP said:

I was delighted to host the ‘Taste of East Lothian’ event and it was great to see such a big turnout from parliamentary colleagues. I have had some fantastic feedback, with everyone enjoying the samples of the wonderful local produce on offer and the opportunity to find out more about why East Lothian’s food and drink is so special.

“I want to thank Gemma and her colleagues for making the day happen, all of the brilliant producers for coming down and promoting themselves and East Lothian in such a positive and compelling way, and everyone who attended for helping make the day such a great success.

“There is no doubt that the event has helped put East Lothian and its approach to food and drink on the map. I will continue to work with East Lothian Food and Drink and local producers to explore ways of spreading the word about what we have to offer here and championing East Lothian’s status as Scotland’s Food and Drink County.”

The producers from Scotland’s Food & Drink County were delighted to be invited to Westminster to showcase a group of their suppliers and promote the collaborative efforts of the businesses involved in hugely prestigious surroundings. The event also offered the group an amazing opportunity to invite some of their key southern buyers, contacts and potential buyers to meet with them in truly unique and influential surroundings.

Louise Elder, producer of Black & Gold Rapeseed Oil, from crops grown on her East Lothian farm, and who is former Chair of the Board of Scotland’s Food & Drink County, said:

“This was an exciting opportunity for us as a group. We are so proud of our food community here in East Lothian and we enjoyed meeting so many regional ambassadors from across the country.

Scotland’s Food & Drink County (SFDC) is the World’s 1st Food & Drink Business Improvement Development (BID) and we hope some of the ambassadors present may encourage other areas to be inspired by our work and develop similar organisations in their area.

By working together, we create a collective identity, a more vibrant economy and a sustainable future for our businesses as a whole.”

To find out more about Scotland’s Food & Drink County, East Lothian, click on www.scotlandsfooddrinkcounty.com