A moray fruit and vegetable supplier is carrying out an £80,000 expansion that is expected to create up to four new full- time-equivalent (FTE) jobs and boost its international sales.
Elgin based Speyfruit, one of the largest suppliers in the north-east, has secured up to £24,110 funding for the project from development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The firm supplies food manufacturers, health boards, local authorities, hotels, restaurants, and retail outlets.
Set up in 2000, it currently provides around 27 full time equivalent posts. Despite the challenges faced by the sector over the past 15 months, it maintained strong turnover.
Through investment in facilities and equipment the company has diversified over the years to meet changing market needs.
New warehouse and packing facilities
More recently it has been approached by potential export customers, particularly in the Middle East, looking to import quality Scottish produce.
The HIE funding will go towards the costs of upgrading the company’s warehouse and packaging facilities to support new product lines and accommodate other expansion opportunities.
Speyfruit director, Gary Vass, said: “We continue to be very focussed on understanding the ever changing needs of our market.
The upgrade of facilities is essential in maintaining our place in the market and in allowing us to properly develop new opportunities.
“The ongoing support and guidance of HIE over these challenging times is very appreciated by us and has been key in allowing us to proceed confidently with this project and others.”
Keira Orme, business development account manager with HIE in Moray, added: “Food and drink is an important sector in Moray and the wider Highlands and Islands region. It has been one of the hardest hit sectors over the past year or so, but equally has significant growth potential.
Speyfruit has diversified steadily over the years into an important player in the region’s economy, notably in providing valuable employment opportunities.
“This latest initiative by the firm will help it service new markets, increase international trade and continue its growth trend.
“We are very pleased to be able to provide support and look forward to seeing the project taking shape.”