Greenshoots: Shetland firm to produce biltong health snack thanks to £24,000 HIE funding
Shetland-based firm J & G Shetland Ltd is to launch a new range of biltong snacks, including Scotland’s first lamb biltong, in a move that is expected to create new jobs.
J & G Shetland Ltd, which owns Sound Service Station is set to start production at their premises in Lerwick, in February.
The company has secured £24,000 funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) for specialist equipment required to produce biltong.
J & G plan to use high-quality Shetland produced beef and lamb in their biltong. It will initially be available for sale in Shetland, then for onward sale to the UK market. With no other producers commercially producing lamb biltong, this will be a new product in Scotland and will be aimed at the growing health snack and other markets.
Biltong, a ready to eat snack is a form of dried, cured meat originating from South African Countries. It is similar in style to jerky but with different ingredients and production processes.
It is pure meat, which makes it an excellent source of protein. Beef biltong, in particular retains most of these proteins, vitamins and minerals, as it is air dried without ever being heated or dehydrated. Biltong is naturally low carb, low sugar and completely gluten-free.
The company’s butcher manager, Jay Joubert, originally from South Africa, and has expertise in producing Biltong. He will be responsible for overseeing production at the premises at Rudda Park in Lerwick and will be joined by two full time equivalent staff as the project progresses.
John Mackenzie, senior development manager at HIE, said: “This exciting project will enhance Shetland’s already impressive food and drink offering, and the sector’s production capability. It will also create new job opportunities and help J &G Shetland move into the fast growing healthy snack market. We are delighted to be able to provide support and look forward to continuing to work with the company as the product line develops.”
Jordan Thomason, J&G Shetland Ltd owner, added: “We are very excited to be working alongside HIE in this new venture and are looking forward to launching our high-quality local product. Biltong is something that Jay has introduced us to and we are confident that with his skill and previous knowledge of producing Biltong that our product will be a success not only in Shetland but further afield as well.
“We are grateful for the support HIE has given as it has enabled us to create more staffing opportunities in what is otherwise a challenging time for many businesses.”