The Taste of Shetland Festival now open for bookings 19 July 2018

This year’s Taste of Shetland Festival promises to be even bigger and better than ever as organisers Shetland Food and Drink (SFAD) launch a new initiative to attract even more first-time exhibitors to the event.

Jill Franklin, Manager of Shetland Food and Drink, says: "In the last couple of years there has been a big upsurge in the number of people setting up new food and drink businesses in Shetland - whether they are producing products, selling local food and drink or offering local products in a restaurant or cafe environment. We are very keen to support these business, help them promote the fact they are passionate about local produce, and enable them to connect with even more customers making it easier for them to attend the Taste of Shetland Festival."

The package for support for first-time exhibitors comprises 50% off the cost of booking a stand as well as a free ‘New Exhibitor’ workshop provided by Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Andrew Gear, Account Manager, Highlands and Islands Enterprise , says: “As part of our growth plan for the food and drink industry, we have arranged for some practical workshops to help exhibitors make the most of the huge opportunity that the Taste of Shetland gives businesses. These interactive sessions will give stallholders the opportunity to create more sales and build greater confidence. They will help exhibitors use the Festival as a high point in the year to build new contacts with both consumers and with trade, in and outwith Shetland. We are delighted to be supporting Shetland’s growing food and drink businesses in this way.”

This new exhibitor workshop will be held on Tuesday 28 August and be run by marketing and sales specialist Russell Ferguson of RFM, who has substantial experience in this area. On Wednesday 29 August, he will also run a free session for experienced exhibitors who want to refresh their skills and get new sales and marketing ideas. "The second session is for producers who have been at the show before,” adds Andrew Gear. “It will focus on how to squeeze more benefit out of the time at the Festival to build their brand, grow sales and attract new customers both consumer and trade. The lessons learnt on this programme can be honed and replicated at shows in the future, so it will have value to exhibitors long after the Fesval has ended".

Jill Franklin adds: "Booking is open for everyone from Friday 20 July - whether you would like to exhibit for the first me or have been before. We are cannot wait to start working with stallholders to make this the best Festival to date.”

If you would like to book a space at the Festival please click here.

The Taste of Shetland Festival returns again to the Clickimin Leisure Centre in Lerwick, building on its continued success there. The Taste of Shetland Festival last year attracted over 3,000 visitors, and promotes everything food and drink in Shetland, celebrating producers and outlets, big and small.

The format of the Festival is as follows:

Friday 5 October:

● 5.30pm to 7pm - special event hosted by Gary Maclean (advance booking only, details to be announced)

● Festival doors open at 7pm, closing at 9pm as per previous years

Saturday 6 October:

● 10am – 5pm

Sunday 7 October:

● 11am – 5pm, including the live final of the Taste of Shetland Cooking Challenge on the Main Stage in the afternoon