Updated: Dec 16, 2021
The Prince of Wales was sighted across the country this October. Here's what he got up to during his trip to bonnie Scotland.
Scotland, beyond its stunning vistas and love of tartan, has a diverse and exciting food and drink culture that is worth talking about, a fact that the Prince of Wales chose to celebrate this October through his royal visit to the country.
Kicking off his Scottish adventures, Prince Charles would be the honoured guest to officially open Johnnie Walker Princes Street, a new global visitor attraction that highlights the world famous Scotch Whisky in Scotland’s capital.
His royal highness explored every nook and cranny of the new eight-floor experience which is housed in one of Edinburgh’s landmark heritage buildings, and unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening.
During this visit, The Prince of Wales also met up with the very first students of the Johnnie Walker Learning for Life Academy as well as representatives of the The Prince’s Foundation. This event marked the partnership between Johnnie Walker and The Prince’s Foundation to provide both training and employment opportunities in order to support Scotland’s hospitiality and tourism sectors.
To highlight the launch of the partnership, the hospitality students prepared a bespoke ‘Duke of Rothesay’ cocktail for His Royal Highness, created with Johnnie Walker Autumn (the first seasonal whisky exclusive to Johnnie Walker Princes Street) and garnished with ingredients from the gardens at Dumfries House estate.
Diageo Chief Executive Ivan Menezes, who hosted His Royal Highness on the tour said: “We are grateful to His Royal Highness for the interest he has shown in the Scotch whisky industry and we look forward to working in partnership with The Prince’s Foundation to create opportunities for people in communities across Scotland to get into training and employment in hospitality and tourism.”
But that’s not all the Prince of Wales got up to while in Scotland, he also made a visit to Rora Dairy where he was welcomed by owners Bruce and Jane Mackie to the organic farm. This visit followed the news that the farm had secured its official organic certification and that they would also supply COP26 during November.
Known as an advocate for sustainable and organic food production and farming, the prince visited the area to showcase his support for local rural businesses and was interested to hear about the farms environmental improvements.
Since Bruce took over the farm from his father in 2008, he and Jane have worked hard to develop the land for the benefit of wildlife: building a wind turbine and planting seven new areas of trees which create a network of small native woodlands joined by wildlife corridors and hedges, linked with waterways.
Commenting on the visit, Jane Mackie said: “This year has been tremendously exciting for us all at Rora and we were delighted to welcome Prince Charles to the farm to show him the results of our work to improve biodiversity and sustainability here. Our organic certification and selection for COP26 is recognition of our efforts and, like so many of our customers, we really feel that the prince, who is a farmer himself, understood and appreciated this.”
On the last leg of the tour, The Prince of Wales paid a visit to Amity Fish at it base of operations in Peterhead where he was greeted by company MD Jimmy Buchan.
This visit follows on from a meeting at Birkhall in 2020 where The Prince of Wales showed an interest in the local fishing industry, its sustainability and its environmental impact. This year, The Duke of Rothesay gave a brief history of the company’s journey, including recent business challenges presented by COVID and lockdown.
The visit also provided insight into Amity’s passion for sustainability and its mission to champion the sustainable harvesting of seafood. In 2021 the business has invested in greener packaging (drastically reducing packaging and waste with the introduction of cardboard, boxes and dry ice to pack fish boxes and orders). This dedication to more environmentally friendly solutions has paid off with the business being named as the official seafood supplier during COP26 climate event in November.
Of the visit, MD Jimmy Buchan said: “We were proud to host a walk through of our supply chain operations where we explained our desire to improve on our sustainability footprint and how we are working to improve the integrity of our products during transit to customers.”
With COP26 and the effects of COVID still prevalent in our society the industry has a lot of challenges to face. However, with the Duke of Rothesay’s investment in the hospitality industry and his interest in how we approach sustainability during food and drink production, it seems that we are heading down the right path.