Taste Our Best award for ice cream attraction

Cream O’ Galloway near Gatehouse recently attained the Taste Our Best award for locally-sourced fresh food and drink it includes on its menu.

Taste Our Best is a joint initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government. Launched in 2013 the scheme is designed to recognise businesses, including hotels, restaurants, cafes, takeaways, visitor attractions and B&Bs that not only offer a quality food and drink experience, but include and promote Scottish produce on their menus, to give consumers choice.

Results from the 2011/12 Scotland Visitor Survey highlighted that the sampling of local produce is the second highest activity undertaken by visitors when they come to Scotland.

Promoting Scotland’s exceptional quality and diverse range of dining experiences is one of the key focuses of this Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink which is a 12-month celebration of Scotland’s natural larder, designed to build upon the momentum generated by previous focus years and develop the country’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.

Wilma Finlay, Owner of Cream O’ Galloway said: “We are delighted to have received this award, which recognises our commitment to supporting local suppliers. The team at Cream O’ Galloway visitor centre is dedicated to ensuring all our visitors have the best possible experience, and leave with a fantastic impression of the area.

“Our visitors come from far and wide, so it’s great to have the opportunity to showcase the wonderful local produce of Dumfries & Galloway on our menu and in our shop.”

Paula McDonald, Regional Director at VisitScotland, said: “I would like to congratulate the staff at Cream O’ Galloway on receiving VisitScotland’s Taste Our Best award, but it comes as no surprise, as the scope of locally-sourced food featured on their menu really is fantastic.

“We know that visitors love authentic, quality Scottish food and drink and Taste Our Best is all about taking this knowledge to the next level and encouraging the tourism industry and businesses to recognise the real benefits of sourcing, using and promoting local and Scottish produce. We have such a rich natural larder here in Dumfries & Galloway with some of the best products right on our doorstep.

“2015 is Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, and we hope that visitors to our shores who are experiencing the diverse range of events and activities across the country will also get to taste the best cuisine our country has to offer.”Funded by the Scottish Government (£450K over three years) and VisitScotland (£470K in kind) with support from Scotland Food and Drink, the Taste Our Best initiative brings together the tourism and food and drink industries. Research has shown that visitors are willing to pay up to 15% more for food that is of Scottish or regional origin and businesses that provide local food can typically enjoy higher level sales of up to 20% per year. It’s estimated that Scotland’s food and drink tourism industry is worth £2.5 million per day to the economy with sampling traditional dishes and local produce among the top activity undertaken by visitors to Scotland.The Taste Our Best scheme is the latest addition to VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance (QA) Schemes, which aim to drive up quality in tourism products across the country. Taste Our Best will provide businesses with an assessment of their food provision and their menu by qualified assessors, with those meeting the necessary criteria gaining the award.For accommodation providers and visitor attractions, the assessment will take place at the same time as the main VisitScotland Quality Assurance grading, meaning that many tourism businesses that already participate in the QA Scheme will no longer have to apply and pay for a separate food and drink assessment.