Kingennie the venue for agritourism conference

The agritourism sector was challenged to connect with consumers to unlock growth at a conference last week.

Held at Forbes of Kingennie, the Go Rural conference last Friday had the theme of ‘Telling Your Story’, as part of the organisation’s ongoing mission to drive forward Scotland’s agritourism industry.

The 150 delegates heard from Karin Hayhow, director of Mackies of Scotland, on how the firm’s farming background continues to be a fundamental part of their brand story.

Also speaking was Richard Lochhead, cabinet secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment; Charlie Smith, VisitScotland; and Fiona Richmond of Scotland Food and Drink, advocating the role of farmers in creating a food-literate consumer.

The speakers also highlighted the business and social case for promoting a better understanding between the consumers and producers.

Go Rural founder Caroline Millar said: “Our research has identified that farmers in other European countries are more effective in communicating how they grow crops, rear their livestock and share their family story: the benefits of a more engaged consumer are compelling. We want to give Scottish farmers the skills and confidence to embrace the opportunities Agritourism offers which will not only improve their bottom line but also boost the performance of the sector.”

Karin Hayhow from Mackies of Scotland added: “The Agritourism sector plays an important role in opening the door for people to come and find out more about the sources of their fresh foods. Consumers are seeking a sustainable quality of life, which is a huge opportunity for Scotland’s agritourism businesses.”

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