Food and drink business in Inverness and the surrounding regions are being invited to a two-part series of free workshops aimed at supporting businesses who are looking to develop their commercial capabilities and capitalise on growing demand for produce from the Highlands & Islands.

The two workshops will be held across two days at Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) offices – An Lòchran – in Inverness and will also be available to be accessed remotely through video link to businesses further afield.

Delivered by food and drink experts from Connect Local, the Scottish Government’s local food and drink advisory service, the workshops take place on the 27th & 28th August.

Upscaling & Upskilling – 27th August

The first workshop Upscaling and Upskilling provides support and advice for businesses who are looking to build their business for profitable growth. The workshop covers, Logistics, Distribution, Food Safety, Pricing, Branding, and some Social Media and Communications advice.

Selling for Success28th August

The Second workshop, Selling for Success will take producers through what they need to know to market their business and product effectively, ensuring businesses can grow sales by pitching successfully to potential new customers. There will also be opportunities to learn about visual merchandising, how to set up a stand or booth effectively, and opportunities to practice negotiations with buyers.

Ceri Ritchie, Project Manager at Connect Local, said:

We are encouraging as many food and drink companies as possible to register for these free workshops, which cover everything from branding, supply chain and sales support. We have delivered these workshops across the West of Scotland and Tayside this year and 90% of attendees said they believed the workshop will help them increase sales over the next few years. By coming along to the workshops or by joining in remotely, businesses will be in the strongest possible position to grow their sales when meeting with potential buyers.”

The workshops will culminate in an opportunity for businesses to meet with food and drink buyers at a one-day ‘meet the buyer’ event organised by Scotland Food & Drink.

Showcasing Highlands & Islands takes place on 17 September at Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness and aims to grow sales of Scottish food and drink within local establishments by bringing together food and drink buyers and suppliers to do business in a ‘speed-dating’ style of event.

The workshops are open to all food and drink businesses and start-ups in the Inverness region and across the Highlands & Islands and are not limited to those who are attending the Scotland Food & Drink Showcasing event.

Click here to register.