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North-East Now: Farmers growing with demand up

Fiona Gammie of Westerton Farmers
Fiona Gammie of Westerton Farmers

Throughout the pandemic, Aberdeenshire-grown vegetables have proved a hit in kitchens across the north-east.

The team at Westerton Farmers have experienced a 103% increase in demand for their produce – prompting them to adapt their offering to keep up with orders.

They launched a new website, started offering home deliveries and are now opening a second shop next month.

Westerton Farmers have been selling the vegetables grown at Fordoun at their shop, The Spud Hut, since 2017, along with produce from other local farmers.

“The team and I launched a website and offered home deliveries covering south Aberdeenshire and north Angus, as well as a click and collect service,” said Fiona Ruth Smith, a partner at Westerton Farmers.

“We also started working with other local businesses supplying vegetables for their shops and those that had their trade outlets restricted or closed due to lockdown – among them Mearns Marmalades.

“My husband, Doug Smith, also started his own business selling his homebred beef, so we started offering that too and it was a big hit, especially in the summer barbecue season.

“Launching the website and delivery service was very successful and the feedback from our customers was amazing.

“The delivery option really helped those shielding and isolating and also allowed people to send vegetable bags to their friends and family within the local area.”

First of its kind

Westerton Farmers will be launching a second farm shop next month, known as Farm to Table.

It will be based three miles from The Spud Hut, at Westerton of Pittarrow in Laurencekirk.

Fiona, 34, said: “Farm to Table is going to be the first of its kind and will focus on zero/low food packaging alongside seasonal, fresh produce, grown right outside the shop.

“We will be providing our customers with as much information about their food as possible, where it was grown and produced, how it was produced, and where and when it is in season.”

There will be a large selection of “pick your own vegetables” on offer and collaborations with other local businesses to showcase the amazing larder Scotland and the UK has to offer.

There will be a refillery section, so customers can bring their own containers for pasta, grains, herbs, spices, oils, vinegars and so on.

Farm to Table will also have a good selection of dairy, meats, coffee, condiments, eggs, bakery and other tasty treats.

Sandwiches, tray bakes and drinks will be available in the summer too.

As well as sustainability, regeneration and reducing waste in terms of food and packaging, Westerton Farmers also aim to promote shopping local.

Because of this, Fiona has shown her support for the North-East Now campaign as it aims to promote local businesses.

It is driven by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and backed by creative agency Hampton and Aberdeen Journals.

To find out more about North-East Now visit northeastnow.scot

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