Innovation awards go to dairy businesses

Two enterprising Scottish farming businesses have had their hard work recognised in the NFU Scotland Innovation Awards.

Top honours went to Alistair Stewart, who runs a dairy farm at Sandyknowe, near Kelso, with his father and brother.

Alistair has diversified the business by setting up a fruit-flavoured yoghurt enterprise.

The product is currently marketed through local farm shops and specialist food shops in Edinburgh, but plans are being developed to expand the operation throughout Scotland.

The runner-up was Hilda Seator, who makes Grimbister Farm Cheese on Orkney using milk from the family’s herd of Friesian cows.

At present the cheese is marketed through retailers and by mail order, but Hilda is set to target sales in the USA.

Andy Robertson, the chief executive of NFUS, who presented the awards at the union’s annual general meeting, said: “I was extremely encouraged, not only by the large number of applications for this award, but also by the variety of businesses that have been involved.

“We are seeing more and more in the way of diversification and added value these days and I am incredibly inspired by the forward thinking and innovation demonstrated.”