Firms win biosphere recognition
The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere Partnership has awarded eight businesses the biosphere certification mark.
The companies, from a cross section of industries ranging from food, tourism, forestry, horticulture and publishing were recognised for supporting sustainability and biodiversity in the biosphere.
The presentation took place at Gledpark Deer Park at Borgue on the International Day for Biological Diversity.
Lifelong ecologist Chris Miles, who recently retired as regional manager for Scottish National Heritage (SNH) and is a former chairman of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Natural Heritage group, made the awards along with South of Scotland MSP Emma Harper.
Chris said: “It’s fantastic to see businesses in the region recognising the opportunities that the UNESCO Biosphere presents by promoting and enhancing their sustainability credentials and particularly apt to be making these awards on International Biodiversity Day when we should all be looking at how we can change our actions to benefit the natural world. After all, the biosphere vision is all about benefiting people and nature.”
Emma Harper added: “I am familiar with a number of the businesses receiving this award – including Rupert Shaw, who I have visited at his venison farm on numerous occasions – and understand the great passion there is among businesses to ensure sustainability for both their business and the environment which surrounds them.
“I look forward to arranging visits with all eight businesses to receive this award and to learn more about how their actions are benefiting and contributing to the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere.”
Event host Rupert Shaw, the regional chair of NFU Scotland, received the award for his venison at Gledpark.
He said: “Receiving my biosphere certification on National Biodiversity Day simply reinforces my belief that commercial farming and delivering for the environment do go hand in hand.
“I take great pride in my venison production and I am proud of where I live and farm in Kirkcudbright – in the heart of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere.
“I have a customer base that includes cookery schools, hotels and restaurants and having this valuable certification provides them with further reassurance on the high standards of venison production and environmental protection that we deliver on our farm.”
The other businesses include Galloway Flowers, Brookford B and B and Curly Tale Books.
Partnership chairman, Joan Mitchell, said: “UNESCO’s Biospheres are the world’s only globally recognised designation for regions demonstrating excellence in sustainable development.
“Our biosphere can bring real value to our rural businesses and communities by leveraging the powerful UNESCO brand. The biosphere certification mark which is for both services and product labelling is a great recognition to those businesses supporting sustainability.”
Outstanding Eight businesses have received the biosphere certification mark