Shopping locally nets nomination for CalMac at Scottish Food and Drink Awards

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Caledonian MacBrayne’s commitment to sourcing and serving Scottish produce has been recognised with a nomination at the Scottish Food and Drink Awards.

Honouring excellence in the very best of Scottish food and drink, and run in conjunction with the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, the awards have recognised CalMac in the Scottish Sourcing category. Almost 240 hopefuls entered the 2015 awards across 19 categories.

So far, nine of Caledonian MacBrayne’s 10 major vessels have gained VisitScotland’s Taste Our Best accreditation this year – the first ferry company to do so – with all including more than 50 per cent locally sourced ingredients in the Mariners Café menus on board. It is the only transport operator to make the shortlist.

In addition, each of the ferries also stocks a range of local produce – from ice cream to biscuits, cakes to chocolate, real ales to whisky – in their onboard shops.

Caledonian MacBrayne uses some 67 suppliers across its restaurants, coffee shops, bars and onboard shops. Of those, 62 are from Scotland and 44 of those are on the islands, making CalMac a significant and consistent customer for many small island businesses.

By using or stocking these ingredients and products, Caledonian MacBrayne has made a commitment to both these premier food producers and to introducing Scotland’s fresh larder to its passengers. CalMac’s supplier spending across the network is worth some £5.188 million.

The Mariners menu includes such tasty treats as Barra-landed haddock, salmon from Argyll Smokery in Dunoon, Stornoway black pudding, macaroni cheese with Lockerbie cheddar, Galloway scampi and Argyll beef, lamb and venison.

“Our retail teams have worked really hard to introduce Scottish-provenance produce to our ships,” said Anne Mitchell, CalMac’s Onboard Development Manager.

“We are thrilled to have gained a nomination in this tough category. Our passengers have warmly welcomed our approach and we continue to sit at the centre of island life – not just as a lifeline service provider, but also as a major customer for island businesses, making a tangible commitment to local economies.

“The quality of Scotland’s produce is second-to-none and Caledonian MacBrayne is proud to play its role in serving up these tasty offerings across our fleet.”

The awards ceremony will take place at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on May 27th.