FOOD and drink businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being invited to take part in a free export training course next month.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise is hosting the Preparing to Export Course in partnership with Scottish Development International.
The Preparing to Export Food and Drink introductory course will be held at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness on September 9th and 16th. Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight is being held from the 7th to the 22nd.
The two-day workshop, funded by Smart Exporter, is aimed at Highlands and Islands companies that are thinking about exporting for the first time or are in the very early stages of exporting.
Delivered by experienced specialists from Giraffe Consulting, the course will cover the basics of exporting and highlight opportunities in international markets. Those attending will have assistance to develop a practical export plan to help their business grow.
Anja Baak from Great Glen Game attended a Smart Exporter course in January 2012. The business, owned by Anja and her husband Jan Jacob, specialises in charcuterie products such as venison salami, chorizo and bresaola. They already sent their products to Europe but had attracted worldwide interest in their award-winning products.
Anja said: "When I attended the course we were at the start of our exporting activity. It really helped us to think about which markets to target and which routes to take. It gave us a better understanding of the support available for companies and helped us develop a clear plan of action to build the business internationally."
Norma Macdonald of HIE said: "This is an excellent opportunity for food and drink businesses who are interested in exporting to come along and find out all of the basics. This course will also give them the skills to be able to assess where to look for new opportunities while avoiding any pitfalls.
"As proven by the amazing results across our region in the recent Great Taste Awards, we have some of the finest producers in the UK and, in some cases, the world. There are already a large number of businesses exporting from the Highlands and Islands to countries across the world and with this course we hope many other businesses will choose to follow their lead."
To book your place, visit: www.hie.co.uk/exportfoodanddrink