A PROJECT aimed at promoting food produced in Moray has been given a financial boost of £7,000.
It was announced this week that an initiative to create community markets in Moray was receiving a share of the £75,408 awarded in the latest round of Community Food Fund (CFF) applications.
The Moray scheme, which is initially looking to get underway in Keith and Forres, is the idea of the Keith-based REAP (Rural Environmental Action Project) Scotland group.
REAP manager Ann Davidson said that the community markets will help boost the local food industry.
She said: "REAP are delighted to have been awarded this funding to build on our work through the Moray Food Network, as we see it as a way to promote local food and small entrepreneurs to get more people eating, growing and using local food.
"We hope this funding will kick-start an exciting new initiative for Moray. We look forward to working with community groups and halls across Moray to develop this project.
"We would be looking to build on our research in this field to develop market rules, health and safety procedures, marketing and promotion of local businesses and community projects involved with local food and growers’ groups, supporting local farmers and growers to increase their market readiness.
"We’ve used the example of the Black Isle community markets, where the market is indoors using local village halls in various locations on each Saturday throughout the month.
"This gives small producers and growers a low-cost, low-risk way of growing their small businesses.
"Our research shows that these markets work best when professionally managed, with a robust set of rules, a good selection of stalls including regular food stalls, and a rolling programme of events and add-ons such as bike maintenance sessions."
Applications to the Scottish Government-funded Community Food Fund are considered on a quarterly basis by the CFF panel, which includes representatives from Government and Scotland’s food and drink industry.
There were 13 successful projects in the latest round, including the Moray community markets initiative, with all applicants having to show that they benefit local food and drinks producers.