QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 82 - Page 10

Business expert creates food map of East Lothian BUSINESS AND CONSUMER expertise from QMU has been used to develop an interactive map of East Lothian’s food and drink businesses. The new map will highlight the wide range of food producers, growers, retailers and social enterprises that operate throughout the county. Mike Pretious, from QMU’s Division of Business, Enterprise and Management, has a keen interest in social enterprises and food businesses. As Chair of Social Enterprise East Lothian he is also involved in an offshoot group ‘Food of East Lothian’, which is striving to create a sustainable environment which supports the development of a strong food business culture within the county. With funding from NHS Lothian and East Lothian Council, Mike, together with a QMU graduate, has carried out a mapping exercise of all the enterprises across East Lothian with an association with food. He explained: “We really wanted to understand the breadth and depth of the range of food organisations within the area, and to create awareness of the different geographical zones of food across farming/growers, fish merchants, seed merchants, small trade production, large scale enterprise, social enterprises, family business, farmers’ markets and retail.” Mike contracted Alison Stone, a recent graduate from QMU’s MSc Gastronomy course, to help with the creation of the map. Alison’s newly launched business ‘3 Minutes to Midnight’ focuses on the area of sustainability within the food industry. She now operates full-time from QMU’s Business Innovation Zone, the university base which supports the development of new graduate start-ups. Alison explained: “This was a fantastic project to be involved in, both personally and professionally, and presented several research opportunities and challenges. The first was to identify a technology platform which could deliver the mapping functionality, without blowing the budget. The second challenge was to locate all the food and beverage outlets for inclusion within the map. Finding details of commercial premises was easy - trying to identify the more community based projects, such as growing schemes, allotments and other food producing social enterprises, proved to be more difficult. The final piece of the jigsaw involved geo-mapping the data and presenting it in a meaningful way, with keys and colour coding to denote the different business sectors.” Mike confirmed: “The mapping exercise provides a true picture as to the size and variety of food businesses within the area. We now hope to participate in the creation of a regional food hub which will aid contact between different parties and encourage buying and selling between businesses.” Mike said: “We feel the food map will be a useful resource for businesses, the economic development unit within the Council and NHS Lothian when it launches in the near future. It can be used to strengthen business to business links, as well as creating connections between the food industry and the health service, which will ultimately contribute to the economic health of East Lothian.” Mike concluded: “This project was initiated by Food of East Lothian and we have ambitious and exciting plans to further develop a strong food culture across the county – the map is just the start.” ❒ Alison Stone’s business, 3 Minutes to Midnight, specialises in the food, drink and tourism sector and offers consultancy services to assist clients in identifying, measuring and reporting their company’s current commitment to sustainable development practices. Contact Alison T: 07724 4646806 E: alison@3minutestomidnight.co.uk www.3minutestomidnight.co.uk 10 QMYOU / Sustainable Business Business expert creates food map of East Lothian B USINESS AND CONSUMER expertise from QMU has been used to develop an interactive map of East Lothian’s food and drink businesses. The new map will highlight the wide range of food producers, growers, retailers and social enterprises that operate throughout the county. Mike Pretious, from QMU’s Division of Business, Enterprise and Management, has a keen interest in social enterprises and food businesses. As Chair of Social Enterprise East Lothian he is also involved in an offshoot group ‘Food of East Lothian’, which is striving to create a sustainable environment which supports the development of a strong food business culture within the county. With funding from NHS Lothian and East Lothian Council, Mike, together with a QMU graduate, has carried out a mapping exercise of all the enterprises across East Lothian with an association with food. He explained: “We really wanted to understand the breadth and depth of the range of food organisations within the area, and to create awareness of the different geographical zones of food across farming/growers, fish merchants, seed merchants, small trade production, large scale enterprise, social enterprises, family business, farmers’ markets and retail.” Mike contracted Alison Stone, a recent graduate from QMU’s MSc Gastronomy course, to help with the creation of the map. Alison’s newly launched business ‘3 Minutes to Midnight’ focuses on the area of sustainability within the food industry. She now operates full-time from QMU’s Business Innovation Zone, the university base which supports the development of new graduate start-ups. Alison explained: “This was a fantastic project to be involved in, both personally and professionally, and presented several research opportunities and challenges. The first was to identify a technology platform which could deliver the mapping functionality, without blowing the budget. The second challenge was to locate all the food and beverage outlets for inclusion within the map. [[]Z[و[Y\X[[Z\\\X\H HZ[Y[YHH[ܙH[][]B\YڙXX\ܛ[[Y\[Y[[\X[X[[\\\ݙYH[ܙBYX[ H[[YXHوHY][Y[[X\[H]H[\[[][HYX[[ٝ[^K]^\˜[\[[HHY\[\[\Xܜ˸'BZZHۙ\YY8'HX\[^\\HݚY\HYBX\H\H^H[\Y]Hو\[\\][B\XKHH\X\]H[HܙX][ۈوHY[ۘ[XX[ZY۝X]Y[Y\[\Y\˜[[\YH^Z[[[[]Y[\[\\˸'BZZHZY8'HY[HX\[HH\Y[\\B܈\[\\HXۛZX][Y[[]][B[[[X[[]][\[HX\]\K][H\Y[[\[\\[\[\[\ܙX][ۛX[ۜ]Y[H[\B[HX[\XKX[[[X][H۝X]HBXۛZXX[وX\X['BZZHۘYY8'\ڙX\[]X]YHوX\X[[H]H[X][\[^][[\\][Hۙ[\HXܛH[H8$HX\\\H\ 'H8d[\ۈۙx&\\[\ Z[]\ZYY XX[\\[B [[\\HX܈[ٙ\ۜ[[H\X\˜\\Y[[Y[YZ[YX\\[[\ܝ[Z\\[x&\˜\[[Z]Y[\Z[XH][Y[XX\˂LSVSH \Z[XH\[\۝X[\ۈ ̍ N[\ې Z[]\ZYY ˝ZˌZ[]\ZYY ˝Z