Your year in lockdown: Fife producer finds an opportunity for growth during pandemic
The global pandemic has put immense pressure on the UK economy, but for one award-winning Fife business it has provided the catalyst to sustainable working practice.
Haggis, black pudding, white pudding and lorne sausage producer, The Farmer’s Son, based at Clentrie Farm in Auchtertool, has seized the opportunity for growth during a difficult time.
Pete Mitchell founded business in 2016 with the vision of returning to his famiy’s roots of producing quality food with real provenance.
With 300 years of family farming heritage in the Kingdom and having worked in the city, Pete felt well placed to start his business – but, a global pandemic in his fourth year was not what he was expecting.
Pete revealed how it has impacted his business: “Like every business, we have seen a number of challenges.
"Some of our hospitality clients have not re-opened their doors, food and trade shows have been cancelled and more generally we have had to modify the way we work.
"However, in other ways, we have been prepared.
"Being a young family business, we have always encouraged a family-friendly way of working which has been pivotal to achieving growth during the current climate.
"Even before the pandemic our business support staff were set up for home working and given the additional childcare issues that lockdown created, we were able to work flexibly to
He said although the hospitality sector has taken a major hit, he has seen a customer trend in the desire for quality, locally produced food that supports the economy around them.
Pete continued: “Not only have we seen our website sales increase, we have also seen an increase in orders from farm shops and convenience stores, as well as securing a deal with the North of England supermarket chain Booths.
“Low food miles isn’t just about the environment its about ensuring that our farmers, millers and grocers have a sustainable future.
"With regulations changing frequently we cannot afford to stick to a regimented way of working, we need to be able to support flexibility in our staff so that our business can continue to thrive.”
He added: “That way of working, at least at The Farmer’s Son, is here to stay.”