NIGHT MARKET AT PEEL FARM TO TOAST VIBRANT AGRITOURISM SECTOR

Peel Farm, near Kirriemuir, has announced plans to host an unmissable food & drink event on Thursday 20th August. The evening, which will include activities for all the family, will focus on showcasing some of Peel Farm Shop’s produce at a Taste of Angus BBQ with Peel Farm’s own highland beef as well as a nature tour, jam and pancake making as well as gin tastings of Peel Farm’s recently launched Bothy Gin.

Also attending are local suppliers Fresh Food Direct with seafood, Cherrys Deli and Kirrie Real Ales as well as other agritourism businesses including Ardross Farm Shop and Craigies Farm Shop. Music on the night will be from local musicians Sonnet 65.

The event, which is free to attend, celebrates Peel Farms involvement in Scotland’s first Agritourism Monitor Farm study run by Scottish Enterprise and funded by both Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government.

Talking about the event, Peel Farm’s Kim Gall said: “We are so looking forward to our Night Market which will bring together some great agritourism businesses from across Scotland as well as serving up some delicious Peel Farm produce. We hope that our customers flock to our summer’s evening of food and drink and taste some delicious Angus produce.”

The event draws to a close the 15-month Monitor Farm project designed to showcase the potential for agricultural businesses to diversify and future proof their businesses.

Also invited to attend are businesses working in the farming, food or tourism sector where they will hear about the highlights of the programme at Peel Farm and the impact it has made on this and other businesses involved in the project.   The break out session will take place between 6.30pm – 7pm on 20th August and is aimed at those working in the farming, food or tourism sectors.

Peel Farm was one of just two farms chosen to participate in the Monitor Farm project facilitated by Caroline Millar from Go Rural. All aspects of Peel Farm was studied from marketing to succession planning with recommendations made on developing the business.

Owner, Claire Fleming said: “The monitor farm project was invaluable to our business particularly in relation to our holiday letting offering which was in its infancy when we started on this programme. Through expert advice and sharing of best practices from other businesses in this sector, we have seen our occupancy rates rise from zero to 50% in the first year, which is above the national average for established businesses in this sector. The new accommodation has had additional positive impact on numbers eating in our café and buying from our farm shop.

“This has been an incredible learning experience which I am sure will benefit the whole agritourism sector.”

During the project a new product – Bothy Gin – was launched. Made using gin infused with fresh local raspberries, the berries are then used to make Merry Berry jam.   Launched at the Royal Highland Show, Bothy Gin was created with feedback from participants of the Monitor Farm programme.

Angus Provost Helen Oswald said: “Angus is a fabulous part of Scotland not only for growing food but also for the diverse range of food producers. From Angus beef to the soft fruit industry and not forgetting our exceptional seafood, our culinary heritage is unequalled. Our entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well across the county too. This will be showcased by Arbroath’s farm-to-bottle distillery Arbikie who have followed up last year’s launch of its vodka brand with a new high-end gin.

“This is a fantastic event is great for tourism and businesses in Angus and I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage businesses across the county to get involved with this project.”

Julian Pace from Scottish Enterprise added: “The Monitor farm project has delivered key learnings which will support the development of Agritourism businesses in Scotland. It has been a dynamic, focused and results-driven project which will help ambitious businesses grow and develop.”

Family-owned Peel Farm, started 28 years ago, and hosts a coffee shop, farm shop and Courtyard of gifts from local stockists. The working farm also produces Highland beef, lamb and pork, some of which is sold in the farm shop, as well as producing beef for store cattle and fat lambs sold at Forfar and Stirling markets.

For further information visit www.goruralforbusiness.com

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