Bute Island Foods secures £375,540 investment from HIE

Bute Island Foods (BIF), a manufacturer of vegan cheese, ice cream and other plant-based products, has secured an investment of up to £375,540 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to help accelerate its latest growth plans.

BIF has expanded rapidly over the past four years, during which its workforce has tripled from 50 to 150. Producing a range of own-label products for UK supermarkets, whilst also exporting to international markets including Australia, Scandinavia and the Far East, primarily under the Sheese brand.

The company has received the Queen’s Award this year for International Trade for outstanding short-term growth in overseas sales.

BIF’s latest expansion is expected to create a further 36 jobs over the next three years, while increasing turnover by more than £5 million, improving quality and reducing plastic waste.

The HIE funding will help towards the costs of fitting out two production facilities and the installation of new chilled storage. This will further increase the firm’s capacity to meet growing consumer demand as it considers plans for a much larger production facility, also on Bute.

Morag Goodfellow, HIE area for Argyll and the Islands, said: “The continued growth of Scotland’s food and drink industry is crucial in the country’s economic recovery. Bute Island Foods is an excellent example of a firm that has grown steadily in recent years and continues to develop ambitious plans for the future. It is already a very important employer on Bute. These latest plans will provide security for existing employees and create even more much needed jobs on the island.

“We are very pleased to be able to support this project and look forward to continuing to work with BIF for the benefit of the local economy on Bute and in the wider area.”

Mark Crichton, director of Bute Islands Foods, added: “We really appreciate the help and support we’ve received from the HIE. With our recent Queens Award, and successes in driving growth on the Sheese brand, we’re looking forward to a bright future. Plant-based diets are accelerating across the globe and we intend rising to this challenge and continuing to be a Scottish success story.”

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