A prestigious business which promotes quality goods for around 500 Caithness and Sutherland food and drink producers is planning to expand its market this year.
Mey Selections is working with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to continue to promote the provenance of their products to develop new markets across the UK. The business is also hoping to increase the number of local producers it works with to meet the needs of its existing and new customers.
The Mey Selections brand was the first venture of the North Highland Initiative, launched by Prince Charles in 2005. It was developed to market and sell food and drink products sourced within 100 miles of the Castle of Mey. The main products are beef and lamb, but North Highlands Products which trades as Mey Selections, also promotes locally made products like cheese, jam, and oat cakes.
Its founding principle was to provide quality products while supporting profitable and sustainable farming, fishing and food and drink production in the North Highlands.
Chairman and local farmer Danny Millar says that marketing the history and origins of their food is important in continuing to raise awareness of the brand.
“We have worked hard to develop Mey Selections position within a premium market. People's desire to know where their food comes from offers the business the opportunity to tell its story to an even wider market. We enjoy significant success particularly in Scotland and we want to continue to grow this across the UK. As well as building on existing customer loyalty, we'll be looking at additional opportunities to grow our client base. In addition, we plan to diversify into new product lines, supporting more local producers,” he said.
Roy Kirk, area manager for HIE, is working with Mey Selections. He is enthusiastic about the opportunities their co-operative approach provides.
He commented: “Everyone in the supply chain benefits from the strength that has been built around the Mey Selections brand. That includes the small farmer who supplies the product, the butcher or shopkeeper who stocks it, and the hotel which serves it and can market the quality of the food to their guests.
“The business is innovative and has been developing a business model which strengthens its position in the market. They are looking at how they can grow and HIE is helping with that by offering sector and marketing advice, and assisting with new product development.”