Learning Journey to Tuscany/Umbria 2015

The Client - Businesses from the agritourism and food and drink sectors

The aim of the Learning Journey was to:

  • Meet with with Italian farmers to discuss comparisons in Italian agriculture, tourism and the rural economy and gain an insight into their added value food, tourism and leisure enterprises.
  • Visit farmers markets and farm shops and meet with the organisers to better understand how the structure differs to Scotland.
  • Meet with Industry representatives including Italian Farmer's Unions, Dept of Agriculture, Slow Food Movement and tourism bodies to share knowledge and better understand Italian government and industry support to the sector.
  • Meet with academics and researchers specialising in the rural economy, agriculture and agritourism.
  • Facilitate informal discussions with trip delegates to share knowledge, experience and to build relationships


The Results

Every single business owner who attended felt that the Learning Journey had a positive impact on them. New working relationships were established.  Delegates advised that being away with like minded individuals enabled them to look at their business with a fresh perspective and allowed them to compare/contrast what their strengths and weaknesses were. An immediate result was that future collaborations were identified which included jointly exhibiting at various events in London resulting in shared costs and superseded the need for extra staff. Some delegates were going to look at opportunities for farm tours and  to review the way they told their business story. Others plan to feedback what was learnt to their own staff to help improve the welcome and hospitality their customers receive.


“Great to get off the hamster wheel for a few days to learn from others how to work smarter and on the whole a wonderful experience, and I hope we can all convert these new ideas into actions!” Jillian McEwan, Fresh Food Express

"I really enjoyed myself and came home feeling like pulling my socks up, so to speak! It was great to network with other like-minded people (foodies!) with similar ethos and visionI plan to feedback what I have learned about the Italian way of doing things to my own staff.  The individual personalities really had impact, leaving me with a very good first impression on my first visit to the region. We could improve our "first impression"welcome in Scotland"   Cameron Laird, Cairnie Fruit Farm

Video Testimonials

 Jillian McEwan      Louise Nicol      
Stephanie Crowe     Sheena Howden