9 food for good outlets in Scotland
Whet your appetite and go to foodie heaven with our list of nine of the best ethical food and drink producers in Scotland
1. Kelvin Valley Honey
There was a buzz around the office when we discovered Kelvin Valley Honey. Based in Kilsyth not only does its honey taste bee-autiful. this social enterprise is invovled in a hive of awareness raising activities centring on the importance of bees in the food production chain and conservation. Its novice beekeepers programme offers training and equipment to local residents to turn them in to local experts with the aim of increasing the population of honey bees in the area to over 12 million by 2016. You can buy its honey online and don’t worry your purse won’t be stung, prices start from as little as £1.
2. In A Jar
If honey isn’t your jam then maybe In A Jar is for you because, well it sells… jam! And bloody good jam it is too. One of three social enterprise wings of Tiphereth Trading, In A Jar produces a range of high quality organic jams, handmade in small batches from fruit grown on its own land in the Colinton area of Edinburgh. A series of blogs on its website explain in brilliant detail each step of the production line, which help ensure all its jams are certified by The Soil Association. Currently it sells a range of flavours from strawberry or raspberry to rhubarb and ginger with many more in between. Find out where to buy on its website tiphereth.org.uk.
You’ve got the honey and the jam but what are you going to put it on? How about a nice thick slab of organic Border Country Seeds sourdough bread! Sounds good doesn’t it? Well it is, and like everything else on this list it’s made by a great social enterprise. As its name suggests Breadshare is focussed on selling bread. It claims it bakes a variety of bread types to suit most tastes and dietary requirements, using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Started in 2012 at Whitmuir Farm, Lamancha, Breadshare has grown to employ a full-time bakery manager, two bakers and two bakery assistants. They are supported by volunteers from the local community with an interest in healthy eating (the salt content of its breads is less than 1%) and practising baking skills. You can buy Breadshare bread from a number of markets and independent shops and from its own café in Portobello. Find your nearest stockist online.
4. The Freedom Bakery
Now, this one comes with a warning. The Freedom Bakery isn’t fully trading yet but it gets going fully in October and the hype is promising great things. It first came to our attention last year when we spoke with its founder Matt Fountain who told us all about his plan to give training and employment to recently released offenders to bake artisan breads and cakes. Since then Matt has established the bakery within Low Moss prison on the outskirts of Glasgow and has been refining the products and training his apprentices. If the pictures are anything to go by it will be well worth the wait. Keep an eye out for the opening details at freedombakery.org.
5. Loch Arthur Camphill Communities
For those looking to fill up on more than breads and spreads look no further than Loch Arthur Camphill Community in Dumfries and Galloway. The 75 people living in community households and working at Loch Arthur includes 29 adults with special needs living in supported tenancies. Loch Arthur boasts a thriving farm shop containing one of Scotland’s biggest selections of organic and locally produced foods. Among the artisan cheeses, baking and fresh fruit and vegetables (most of which are produced by the residents on Loch Arthur’s own farm) is a smorgasbord of organic meat which it not only rears but also butchers in its own butchery. You can find beef, lamb, mutton, pork and bacon and enough sausages, burger, puddings and haggis to warrant regular visits to try them all. You can visit Loch Arthur Camphill Community farm shop or order online via its website.
6. Cyrenians Farm
Cyrenians Farm is a social enterprise located just west of Edinburgh. As well as a working farm producing local fruit and vegetables, it is also home to a community of vulnerable young people, many with backgrounds of homelessness. The farm gives them opportunity to develop news skills and improve their own lifestyle. Its philosophy is to prove that food production is simple – it grows what is in season and what its soil suits. That means you might not get tomatoes all year round but when you do get them, usually between July and October, they are some of the best tomatoes you will taste. As well as fresh fruit and vegetables the farm also does a great line in jams and chutneys (pictured) as well as free range organic eggs. The farm supplies a couple of shops in Edinburgh, makes local deliveries and holds a regular stall at Balerno Farmer’s market on the second Saturday of every month. Find out more about it on the Cyrenians website.
7. New Caledonian Woodlands
Eating good food is thirsty work so we recommend you wash it down with a glass of fresh apple juice from New Caledonian Woodlands. Its juices are made with quality apples picked, pressed and bottled from its own orchards and packaged up on site. Currently their juice is not sold online, but you can pick it up in shops in Edinburgh and Perthshire and at a range of markets. Away from pressing apples, New Caledonian Woodlands works with over 1,000 people each year to plan new woodland, manage existing forests, make furniture, and teach the community about environmental impact. Visit its website for more details.
Fancy something stronger than apple juice? How about “Scottish craft beer made with passion and a dream to change the world”? BrewGooder makes craft beer from its Edinburgh premises and gives 100% of its profits to charities such as Mercy Corps, to be used exclusively on clean water initiatives for wells, hygiene education and to help with sustainable agricultural projects. Its dream is to change the world by being able to provide the equivalent of 10 litres of clean drinking water for every litre of beer they sell. It’s not just a nice idea though, the beer is damn tasty. Made with the finest hops, malts and crystal clear Scottish water it comes in Clean Water Lager, Well Digger IPA and Happy Hangover Stout varieties. Find out more at brewgooder.co.uk.
9. New Lanark-Ice Cream
Last but not least, what’s a feast without a sweet? We’ve featured this one before on our Naughty but Nice list but we love it so much it has to feature again. New Lanark Ice-Cream is the award winning ice cream made at the New Lanark World Heritage site. Proceeds from its sales, available in a selection of shops across central Scotland as well as from New Lanark itself, go towards the restoration and development of the historic Lanarkshire village. We recommend the jammy dodger flavour but jaffa cake and vanilla are just as good. Find out more about New Lanark and its ice-cream on the visitor centre’s website.