Food and drink learning journey to East Devon

Did you know that Provenance Festival is set to return for 2024?  If you’re not aware of the festival, it’s a food and drink tourism event that highlights the North East of Scotland’s producers and businesses with a focus on sustainable food and drink production through engaging and memorable visitor experiences.


This year, the 9-day event is taking place across the region between Saturday 21 September and Sunday 29 September. To help prepare for this year’s Provenance Festival, VisitAberdeenshire recently delivered a learning journey for Aberdeenshire food and drink producers and businesses to East Devon, which I joined.


Seven Aberdeenshire businesses travelled with Leah Hodder, Provenance Festival Project Manager. The aim of the learning journey was to learn from the experience of an event similar to the Provenance Festival and to inspire new ideas for this year's event.


Over three days, we met and experienced the offerings of a variety of businesses participating in the Taste East Devon Festival. The festival also takes place in September and is coming up to its fourth year. It’s one of the most established food and drink festivals in the UK and celebrates the diverse mix of food and drink products and experiences in Devon, so it was a great opportunity to learn about their successes and challenges faced along the way.

The learning journey group of participants at The PIG, Combe

Left to right - Louise Bruce, Glen Tanar Estate, Ian Booth, Balmoral Game Ltd, Kayleigh McLeish, VisitAberdeenshire, Loren McBay, The Lobster Shop, Leah Hodder, Provenance Festival Project Manager, Carol Short, Down on the Farm, Louise Urquhart, Louise’s Farm Kitchen, Christian Erich Stolte, the wee Scottish cider company and Anna Mitchell, Castleton Farm at The PIG, Combe.


Visiting businesses such as Hugh Fernley-Whittingshall’s River Cottage, High Grange, The PIG at Combe, Darts Farm, The Donkey Sanctuary and more, we were able to hear about each business' involvement in the festival and their experience of what has worked and what hasn’t worked for them.


It was an inspiring and insightful few days for everyone, and I can’t wait to see how the group puts their learnings into practice.  


The participants will be talking more about their experience of the provenance festival and learning journey at the upcoming participants information session on Thursday 11 July. If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved in the festival, click here to register for the event at Marshall’s Farm Shop.


Provenance Festival is supported by funding received from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund via Aberdeenshire Council.