Projects across Scotland have been awarded a share of the Scottish government fund, enabling companies to invest in infrastructure, upgrade or replace facilities and purchase new equipment.
A Buffalo Farm in Kirkcaldy has been awarded £500,000 from this fund and has unveiled plans to become the first Scottish producer of buffalo mozzarella.
The 4,000 sq. m facility, located at an old dairy farm at Bankhead of Raith, will become the new home for the Buffalo Farm’s dedicated milking parlour, processing plant and sheds for the new herd of Dairy Buffalo.
Steve Mitchell from The Buffalo Farm said: “We have carried out extensive research, travelling thousands of miles around Europe to understand exactly what is involved in the farming and processing of a herd of dairy buffalo, as well as understanding the best business strategies for bringing the product to market.
“We are looking to start the building programme this autumn and have the sheds and milking parlour completed by early 2019, so we are under a bit of pressure to get things moving quickly.
“We have therefore strengthened our team by linking up with Maurizio Brugnoli who has become our new product development director and will head up the development of the mozzarella project.”
Mr Brugnoli has worked in various prestigious restaurants in Italy and Scotland. The farm says he will bring experience and contacts in the importing and distributing of Italian products throughout Scotland.
Mitchell said: “We have come an awful long way from when I first started selling buffalo meat at farmers’ markets some 12 years ago and I cannot wait to start the next chapter of this amazing journey.
“We will continue to look for investment partners to ensure we can deliver the best possible buffalo mozzarella on the market and we are currently exploring a few exciting options.”