‘Sourcing locally’ have become real buzzwords in this day and age, with more and more hospitality businesses turning to local suppliers to source their products, and for a group of Borders College students, visiting two local food and beverage businesses was the perfect way to see where the products they could potentially use originate from.

HNC Hospitality, Level 3 Food and Beverage Supervision, Level 2 Hospitality and level 3 Professional Cookery students recently took a trip to the Borders Distillery to look at the distilling process, as well as Bedrule Farm to see how red deer are reared for venison.

The students were given a tour of The Borders Distillery, based in Hawick, and the first Scotch Whisky distillery in the Scottish Borders since 1837, where the history of the building and its recent transformation was explained. They were able to gain an insight into the workings of a commercial distillery and the processes of producing whisky, gin and vodka.

This was followed by a tasting session in the impressive bar area, where students were able to sample the local spirits produced on-site. Distillery Manager Andrew Nairn then spoke to the group about how the products are marketed here and further afield.

The afternoon saw the group travel to Bedrule Farm, owned by the Richardson family, where red deer are reared for venison. They were taken up by trailer to see the herd, and John and Adele Richardson were on hand to speak to them about the processes involved in raising the deer, and how a huge amount of effort is put in to ensure they have an excellent quality product.

The group were able to feed the herd by hand, before moving on to see the Highland cows and pygmy goats, and were treated to some stunning views of Ruberslaw along the way. The visit was finished off with tea and cake in the bothy.

Catering lecturer Fiona Nichol commented:

“This was a great way for the students to see how food and beverages are produced locally. With more local companies using suppliers in their areas, it’s vital that the students and our future local hospitality workers understand the processes involved. The visits to both the distillery and the farm were thoroughly enjoyed by all involved and we would like to thank them both for taking the time to speak to us.”

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Excellent feedback was given from both the distillery and the farm, with both hosts commenting on the keen interaction of the students and the polite manner shown.

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