With more small companies trading on line, the Highlands & Islands Enterprise has been concentrating on e-commerce. Senior development manager Michael MacIntosh says: "Many small speciality producers are trading online particularly in one-off gifts. Some are doing it well but others are just starting. There is a huge learning curve. The forecast is that by 2010 most of the sales online will be food and drink and we need to be prepared." E-commerce workshops to improve local companies' awareness of this technology are on the agenda and these should be in place by next year. "It's not just about a web site and working online," says MacIntosh. "Distribution plays a big part in the islands and we want companies to work together and pull together." HIE's latest Buyers' Guide detailing every food and drink company in its area has just been published and is also available online. Orkney aims to increase its food and drink turnover from £39m to £50m by the end of 2005. A strategy has been agreed between the three main bodies, Orkney Islands Council, Orkney Enterprise and Orkney Quality Food & Drink. Orkney Enterprise spokesman John Clarke says: "We'd come to a decision that there had to be major developments in new premises, infrastructure and product development, plus ways of getting more usage out of the Orkney name." Funding new food and drink businesses, setting up joint venture companies and increasing the number and diversity of processed products are all on the cards, he says. Two food parks are being developed. The major site is at Garson, Stromness, while a mini food park will be at Hatston, Kirkwall. {{Z SUPPLEMENTS }}