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Deals help Fife-based artisan producer increase turnover by nearly £200k

Thu 16 Mar 17

A Fife food producer is planning to add an in-house bottling plant after seeing demand soar for its flavoured vinegars and dips.

Turnover at The Little Herb Farm at Lundin Links has jumped by almost £200,000 after it agreed a series of supply deals.

The firm was set up by entrepreneur Lindsey Anderson as a means of making a little extra cash as her young daughter underwent treatment for a rare blood disorder.

"Emily had really bad flu as a baby that turned into bronchitis which completely destroyed her immune system," Lindsay recalled.

"She was diagnosed with a condition called Auto-immune Neutropenia and it took three years for her immune system to recover; during that time even a basic infection could have killed her.

"That experience taught me you never know what is around the corner.

"I wanted to put a silver lining on the cloud that had been hanging over us, and I'd always wanted to run my own business so I asked myself what was the worst that could happen?"

The part-time business has since since grown into a full-time commercial concern and in recent months it has secured a distribution deal with The Cress Company, shelf space in Selfridges, and achieved a national listing with Dobbies to stock its product in its food halls.

The result has been a transformatory leap in income from circa £45,000 to £240,000.

The outfit – which has been helped in its growth journey by Business Gateway Fife – is expecting a further 25% leap in revenues in the coming year after it signed further supply agreements with Hider Foods and Blakemore Fine Foods.

The company, which hand pours 30,000 bottles of vinegar and produces 200,000 dips, is now looking for opportunities to expand into the catering sector and invest in a bottling plant to keep up with demand.

"I'd never intended to make dips but when the opportunity arose to buy Dip Nation I saw the possibilities straight away," Lindsey continued.

"Not only did it allow me to create employment, it opened new routes to market.

"I kept its Tesco range and developed a range of artisan dips under my own brand name which has increased the company's reach further.

Lynne Baillie of Business Gateway said The Little Herb Farm had received a range of support and advice from Export Help, a programme funded by the European Development Fund, Create in Fife and our Market Development programme.

She said: "We have now put her in touch with Scottish Development International to help her investigate the possibility of exporting her products to Europe.

"Lindsey has established a strong business and we will continue to provide support when needed to help her realise her growth ambitions."

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