Businesses across north east Scotland are at the forefront of change in the food and drink sector, adapting to new markets, innovating and investing.
The boom in home cooking and focus on healthy ingredients has seen retail demand increase for extra virgin cold-pressed rapeseed oil produced by Mackintosh of Glendaveny. The business is now making further investment in its production facilities and new product development.
Gregor Mackintosh, managing director, said: "We invested in modern facilities and future capacity two years ago and that enabled us to maintain social distancing and meet increased demand from retailers. The team rose to the challenge of increasing production and we have demonstrated our ability to deliver to retail customers. That's been especially important because the foodservice and export markets have declined."
Farmlay Eggs produces more than four million high-quality eggs a week from its Strichen base. Foodservice sales and the price of processing eggs fell after the lockdown, but retail demand has boomed during the pandemic. Farmlay's investment in automation has helped it meet the new orders. The business continues to develop its facilities and processes to support growth.
Robert Chapman, Farmlay's managing director, said: "Our investment in automation helped us to flex capacity to meet demand and the workforce has been tremendous despite the demands of social distancing. Now that the building trade is working again, we are continuing with investment in capacity and productivity."
Peterhead-based Amity Fish Company – a participant in ONE’s 2017 business growth programme – has developed a direct to consumer focus with a new website driving online sales and home delivery orders. They have increased sales and their product lines, and more than doubled their workforce.
Director Jimmy Buchan said: "Home delivery and online sales have significantly increased, offsetting declines in other markets. The challenge created by COVID-19 fired up the team and our ONE mentor has been an enormous help. We are adapting the business and aim to make that work long term."
Angus & Oink, a specialist BBQ sauces and rubs business, has quadrupled direct to consumer sales in the past three months with major growth in continental Europe. The business, also a participant in ONE’s 2017 business growth programme, has capitalized on the cooking at home and direct to consumer trends and is now planning to expand production capacity and invest in automation.
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