Sales and jobs rise as social enterprise scales up food production in Arran

The processing area will allow Woodside Arran to increase its fruit and vegetable production by up to 50%.

Woodside Arran has secured an investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to erect a steel frame shed on his farm in Kildonan. It will house a new processing area, storage room, kitchen and teaching center, and allow the company to meet the demand for local products.

The processing area will allow the company to increase its production of fruits and vegetables by up to 50%, while extending the shelf life of the products, while the storage area will allow the products to be stored in a temperature-controlled environment. controlled.

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Goods such as chutneys, quiches and pesto will be produced in the kitchen and sold through the farm’s vending machine in Brodick.

Various educational opportunities will be created using the on-site classroom, including a nine-month mentoring program, volunteer days and school visits.

The £90,000 project is expected to create two jobs and increase Woodside Arran’s turnover by more than £220,000. It will also continue to contribute to the net zero program by eliminating the food miles generated by supplying the island with fresh produce.

Woodside Arran was formed in 2017 by husband and wife team Andrew and Jennifer Macdonald.

Jennifer said: “The new part of the harvest shed funded by HIE is going to have a significant impact on the productivity and social impact of Woodside Arran.

“Over the past difficult years, the need for resilient local food production in all seasons has become clearer than ever and with the support of HIE, we at Woodside will be able to provide this to our community, while creating jobs and providing additional reach and educational opportunities through the establishment of this infrastructure.

Morag Goodfellow, HIE Regional Manager for Argyll and the Islands, added: “Woodside Arran has played a pivotal role in providing fresh produce to the Arran community throughout the pandemic. We are excited to see the demand for this increase to the point that they need to increase their capacity and diversify their offering.

“The benefits of this project are numerous. It will expand the range of local products available; this will create more jobs on Arran and contribute to the wider net zero agenda.

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