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Nethy Bridge farmers join the birthday party for development scheme

By Tom Ramage

Strathspey is helping Scotland’s fastest growing supermarket to celebrate the first anniversary of its three-year partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

The charity helps farming families grow and develop their businesses.

This year also marks the 25th anniversary of Aldi opening its first store in Scotland and the 10th anniversary of the creation of its dedicated Scottish Buying department.

As part of the partnership with the Fund, Aldi is supporting The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, which provides family farms across Scotland and the rest of the UK with free business skills training and practical workshops to help them develop the management and technical skills required to continue growing and producing.

The programme's participants also receive one-to-one sessions with their programme co-ordinator to create an action plan for their business.

One family taking part in the programme is Patrick and Abby Harrison, who own Balliefurth farm.

One Strathspey family is benefitting from the scheme
One Strathspey family is benefitting from the scheme

Originally from Glasgow, Patrick and Abby moved to the picturesque village of Nethy Bridge 10 years ago to take over the farm, later opening Balliefurth Farm Shop. They joined the programme to help them take their business to the next level.

Speaking about The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, Patrick said: “We’d been looking for some outside assistance to help us focus our efforts into productive and profitable enterprises, so The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme came along at a very opportune time.

“The biggest benefit is that it makes you think about your business in the longer term. Its problematic in farming that you’re always busy with the day-to-day activities of running the farm, and not taking time away from the livestock to think about things. The programme is brilliant for helping you take a step back.”

Aldi has been praised for its commitment to the Scottish red meat industry and for its strong relationships with local farmers and suppliers. Recent NFU Scotland ‘shelf watch’ surveys revealed Aldi topped the charts for availability of Scotch Beef burgers, Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork products on its shelves. Aldi was also crowned Scottish Sourcing Business of the Year at the recent Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards, with the judges commending the supermarket for its commitment to its Scottish suppliers.

Fritz Walleczek, managing director of corporate responsibility at Aldi UK, said: “We’re committed to backing Scottish farmers and our partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund has enabled us to help provide the support they need to grow and be sustainable.

“It’s been a fantastic year of working with the organisation and supporting The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, which is leading the way in ensuring that Scotland’s farms continue to be a success both now and in the future.”

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