A Scottish farming business has received a six-figure support package to significantly boost the scale and quality of its production to meet growing demand.
Stewarts of Tayside, a family-run fresh produce, farming and haulage business based in Perthshire, received the support from HSBC UK.
The company is one of the UK’s largest growers of swedes, and it also produces soft fruit including strawberries and raspberries.
It's new advanced vegetable handling machinery will see a 25% increase in the tonnage of swedes it is able to wash and package.
The new machinery will extract soil and stones to enhance the washing process before the farm's employees trim the vegetables by hand.
It also has an automated weight grader, which improves Stewarts of Tayside’s accuracy when assigning swede sizes for different customer requirements.
The investment has helped the company manage a 20% increase in demand during the pandemic and means it will be able to accommodate more business should demand increase again.
Liam Stewart, managing director explained that the new equipment had been 'critical' to the company's success over the last 12 months.
"Not only has it enhanced our production grading capabilities and efficiencies, but it has also reduced our carbon footprint and helped to avoid waste, which has meant more swedes making it to supermarket shelves.
“We’re an ambitious company and have grown year-on-year since starting out."
The six-figure support fund was issued by HSBC UK’s Equipment Finance team, which said they were 'helping to safeguard the future of family farms'.