Macdonald Hotels has renewed its commitment to using the freshest and finest local ingredients by hosting around 40 Scottish producers at two "meet the buyers" events.

Run over two days and in conjunction with Scotland Food and Drink, the events at Macdonald's Inchyra and Macdonald Aviemore Resort coincided with Scottish Food Fortnight, celebrating the best produce the nation has to offer.

More than 40 small-scale producers attended the events and were given the opportunity to showcase their produce and pitch them to the Hotel group's key decision-makers including; head of purchasing, Marta Miguel Sanz, and executive development chefs, Keith Shearer and Kenny Macmillan.

Macdonald Hotels actively supports small-scale suppliers to develop their business, helping to secure partnerships and a reliable stream of the highest quality seasonal produce.

Macdonald group sales director & chief executive of Macdonald Resorts Simon Jackson said: "As the largest independent hotel group in the UK, we pride ourselves in ensuring that each hotel has some representation of their region; being headquartered in Scotland, means that we are at the heart of some of the very best food and drink; Scotland has a bountiful larder and we are keen to buy locally and champion Scottish brands.

Macdonald Hotels head of purchasing Marta Miguel Sanz added, "We already have established links with some world-class producers which sees our hotel guests enjoy only the very best Scotch beef, lamb, smoked fish and dairy. These meet the buyer events are a fantastic opportunity to meet Scotland's smaller producers and suppliers and have worked very well for us in the past. We support these smaller businesses either directly, or by encouraging collaborations to ensure that we are able to support more businesses by supporting them with their distribution routes."

One such partnership that has flourished is with artisan ice cream makers, Arran Dairies, part of the Taste of Arran brand, who now supply the entire group of 45 hotels and resorts.

Alastair Dobson managing director at Taste of Arran, said: "It's a real privilege to be working with Macdonald Hotels. Not only are they a major customer, but their assistance to promote our brand has been invaluable.

"For businesses of our size, it is often difficult to secure contracts with national restaurant and hotel groups. Macdonald Hotel's commitment to working with smaller-scale suppliers, helping them to improve their business makes a massive difference.

"As a result of our partnership, we are now equipped to handle much larger contracts and the business is all the better for it."

The provenance of the food on the menu at all Macdonald Hotels is central to the groups' food strategy with over 60% of its fresh food coming from Scottish suppliers.

Marta Miguel Sanz, said: "It has been inspirational to see so many enthusiastic Scottish food businesses offering such high quality and innovative produce. The food and drink sector in Scotland is in a very healthy place, and the appetite for locally and ethically sourced ingredients continues to grow.

"At the Macdonald Group, we are committed to ensuring that our guests are served the best-quality, seasonal dishes, and we believe that pairing the freshest local ingredients with the best culinary talent is fundamental to achieving that.

"Many group hotels lose their individualism because they are homogenised. As the UK's largest independent hotel group, we work hard to ensure that we bring to life the local area's best flavours.

"We enjoy fantastic relationships between our suppliers, chefs and buyers, and events like these ones help improve those partnerships and foster new ones."

Macdonald Hotels has recently strengthened its commitment to excellence in food and drink by appointing Michelin-starred chef Tony Borthwick at its Rusacks Hotel in St. Andrews. The news follows the announcement that planning permission has been given for a £7m extension to the hotel, which will include 44 new suites, a rooftop restaurant for 145 diners, bar and terrace, as well as glass-fronted suites allowing visitors to witness up-close the grandeur of golf's most historic course.

Macdonald Hotels Ltd celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and operates over 45 hotels across the UK and ten resorts in both the UK, Spain and Portugal. The Group's portfolio of luxury hotel restaurants between them hold over 50 AA Rosettes.