Food firms’ cash boost

TWO food companies in the Borders have been awarded grant support worth £292,322 under the latest rounds of food and drink funding from the Scottish Government, writes Mark Entwistle.

The projects funded in the Borders are R & K Drysdale in Cockburnspath, which gets £193,000 towards a new leek processing building and specialist equipment for leek cooling, wrapping and storage, staff training facilities; and new pumps and plumbing apparatus.

There is also £99,322 for TDC Thomson, a vegetable processor in Kelso, to construct a humidified and refrigerated storage building for broccoli and cauliflower.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead commented: “Food and drink is one of Scotland’s greatest success stories, thanks to our outstanding natural larder and high quality, delicious produce.

“It’s fitting that this £9.5million support is being announced during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight.

“Scotland has a well deserved reputation for its outstanding produce and companies such as R&K Drysdale and TDC Thomson are able to make the most of high quality raw ingredients – which in turn means that their vegetable products can succeed in the market place. ”

Neil Thomson a partner in TDC Thomson, added: “We are delighted with this award, which allows TDC Thomson to press ahead with the expansion of our vegetable growing enterprise. 

“The award will be used to build a temperature-controlled processing and storage building. This will help us improve the quality of crop we prepare for our customers, as well as a basis to improve both our operational and transport efficiencies.

“Without the help from Scottish Government the project would not have progressed and we welcome the vote of confidence it demonstrates in our business and in the fresh produce sector.”

Under the Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) scheme 159 Scottish projects have benefited from £38million support since 2008.