Young Gregor secures place as dairy taster

Ellon youngster Gregor Aiken who has been chosen to take part in Graham's The Family Dairy's 2015 Children's Tasting Panel.
Ellon youngster Gregor Aiken who has been chosen to take part in Graham's The Family Dairy's 2015 Children's Tasting Panel.

An Ellon boy has beaten off strong competition to earn a place in a dairy tasting panel.

Gregor Aiken, 7, will be among 13 youngsters on Graham’s The Family Dairy’s 2015 Children’s Tasting Panel. He has been selected as new products picker.

Scotland’s leading independent family dairy launched Graham’s Children’s Tasting Panel in 2013 in a bid to help educate youngsters on food and life on a working dairy.

It came after research showed that nearly one in five primary school children believe fish fingers are made from chicken and nearly a third think that cheese comes from plants.

The application process, which was launched in January, originally called for seven places but due to the unprecedented level of interest this year, a further six panel positions were created.

The only other North-east representative is Ashley Barratt, 8, from Banff, who will be flavour finder.

The winning children will join the youngest members of the Graham family, Holly, 9, perfect prefect and Douglas, 6 Dairy Dude at Graham’s Airthrey Kerse Farm in Bridge of Allan on Saturday, April 25

Along-with their parents, the new panel tasters, which includes three pairs of siblings, will receive a special tour of the working dairy, meet Holly’s hens, Douglas’ ducks and Papa’s (Robert Graham Snr) Jersey cows as well as take part in the all-important tasting of lots of exciting new products such as the nostalgic ice cream collection, which has just launched.

There will also be lots of family favourite recipes to enjoy and sampling across Graham’s award-winning ranges of cheese, ice cream, butter, cream and milk products.

Carol Graham, marketing director for Graham’s The Family Dairy, said: “We’re delighted by the fantastic response to this year’s Children’s Tasting Panel and look forward to welcoming our new panel tasters and their parents onto the farm.

“Family is at the very heart of our business so we enjoy giving children an opportunity to visit the dairy as well as encouraging them to think more about the food and drink they consume, try new varied ingredients, cook simple recipes and have lots of fun in the process.

“The philosophy behind the panel and our approach to food education is pretty simple, we believe it’s important that children learn real food skills as well as understand where food and drink comes from.

“This all helps get youngsters off to the best possible start when it comes to eating well for life.