Kirkcaldy’s Buffalo Farm has unveiled plans to build a major dairy plant on the outskirts of the town which will produce Scotland’s first buffalo mozzarella.
The news comes days after it was confirmed that it has successfully been awarded over £500,000 in grant funding from the Scottish Government’s Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) grant scheme.
The facility, located at an old dairy farm at Bankhead of Raith on the Shawsmill Road, is set to become the new home for the Buffalo Farm’s dedicated milking parlour, processing plant and sheds for the new herd of dairy buffalo.
Owner Steve Mitchell has already bought 96 heifers from Holland which will form the foundation of the dairy herd.
The official planning application for the facility will be submitted in the coming days and the successful grant funding now allows the company to finalise its business plan.
The ambitious proposals have come after years of planning and having to turn away hundreds of enquiries for buffalo mozzarella over the last 12 years – including from Gordon Ramsay.
Steve Mitchell said: “We’ve carried out extensive research, travelling thousands of miles around Europe to understand exactly what is involved in the farming and processing of a herd of dairy buffalo, as well as understanding the best business strategies for bringing the product to market.
“We are looking to start the building programme this autumn and have the sheds and milking parlour completed by early 2019, so we are under a bit of pressure to get things moving quickly. We have therefore strengthened our team by linking up with Maurizio Brugnoli who has become our new product development director and will head up the development of the project.”
As well as having worked in prestigious restaurants in Italy and Scotland, Maurizio brings a wealth of experience and contacts in the importing and distributing of Italian products throughout Scotland.
Thanks to the grant funding from the Scottish Government, together with support from the Bank of Scotland, Steve is now embarking on making his buffalo mozzarella dream a reality.
He added: “We have come an awful long way from when I first started selling buffalo meat at farmers markets some 12 years ago and I cannot wait to start the next chapter of this amazing journey.”