Ailsa is helping to put food at the heart of tourism recovery

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Ailsa Currie of Bellevue Farm at Blackwaterfoot has been selected as one of 25 regional food tourism ambassadors for a new programme by  Scotland Food and Drink.

The programme which has been set up to put food tourism at the heart of the recovery of Scotland’s tourism and food and drink sectors was launched by the Scottish trade association and the Scottish Tourism Alliance.

As the ambassador representing Ayrshire and Arran, Ailsa will play a key part in delivering some of the strategic aims and ambitions of Scotland’s Food Tourism Action Plan, launched in 2018.

Supported by the Scottish Government, it is hoped it will stimulate entrepreneurial activities and change as both food and drink sectors recover from the pandemic.

The programme was officially launched by Mairi Gougeon, cabinet secretary for rural affairs and islands.

She paid tribute to the resilience and determination of Scotland’s food and tourism sectors in finding new and innovative ways in capitalising on the pride and passion that exist within the sectors.

Mrs Gougeon said: ‘I am delighted that Scotland’s food and drink ambassadors have been appointed.

‘They will play a key role in supporting food tourism to become a sustainable and important contributor to local economies.

‘The 25 ambassadors, who all work in and share a passion for the industry, puts every region in Scotland on the map, showcasing to visitors and tourists alike the exceptional and varied food tourism experiences available across the country.

‘Their work and expertise, against the backdrop of major challenges to the sector from Brexit and the pandemic, will raise Scotland’s profile as a food tourism destination and help rebuild our food, hospitality and tourism industry.’

Ailsa farms with her husband and two sons at Bellevue, which is a mixed livestock farm on the west side of Arran.

After completing the Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme, she started guided tours of the farm.

With the help of leader funding, they have created Bellevue Barn to give visitors an insight into farming life, find out where their food comes from and hear the story of how Arran food production fits together.