Perthshire Oil Company Strikes Success In Middle East

by Chris Fairbairn

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Food PRA specialist Scottish business is celebrating a major export success by selling oil to the Middle East.

Summer Harvest Oils has won a contract to market its Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil products to a high end retailer in Dubai.

The deal – which follows two other contracts to supply retailers who operate across the Gulf region – will see the Perthshire-based company shipping out rapeseed oil and dressings to Choithrams, which has 21 outlets in Dubai.

Summer Harvest Oils originated in Perth when founder, and former IT consultant, Mark Bush, swapped his leather brogues for wellington boots after he discovered a new found love for food and seasonal produce.

Through the help of Scotland Food and Drink and Scottish Development International, Mark travelled to Dubai with a Scottish delegation last year to showcase his products at the world’s largest international food trade fair, Gulfood.

The visit saw Summer Harvest Oils sign contracts with two main supermarket operators in the Middle East – Alosra (one of the most quality driven retailers in Bahrain) and Lulus (a trend setting supermarket across the Gulf Region).

Mark said: “It not every day a business from the centre of Scotland exports oil to the Middle East.

I am absolutely delighted to have won this contract to send our Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil to the Gulf.

Our oil has been selected against a wide variety of other Cold Pressed Oils produced from all over the world and it is overwhelming to see that our hard work and dedication that has been put into producing these products is finally paying off.

With 2015 being Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, is has certainly proved to be an amazing year for Summer Harvest Oils.”

Councillor John Kellas, Convener of Perth & Kinross Council’s Enterprise & Infrastructure Committee, said: “Harvest Summer Oils is a great example of how a small yet ambitious business in Perthshire can grow and successfully export their products to target wider, international markets.

We are always looking for businesses in Perthshire to support and showcase, and Summer Harvest Oils is one of many that has gone on to achieve great success. With Perthshire’s strong standing in food and drink, we are eager to see other locally produced products being taken overseas in the near future.”

Summer Harvest Oils was founded in 2008 and since then Mark has taken personal charge of growing, pressing, triple filtering and bottling products on his site at Ferneyfold Farm near Crieff.

The oils have become a firm favourite in the kitchen of top chefs including Andrew Fairlie and Tom Kitchin who both use the products in their Michelin-star restaurants, as well as it being the oil of choice on BBC’s The Great British Menu for five years in a row.

Susan Beattie, Head of Food & Drink at Scottish Development International, said: “Mark has travelled to Gulfood with the Scottish delegation for the last two years and I’m delighted to see that this investment, and his hard work in following up these shows, has paid off in the form of new contracts with such highly regarded retailers.

Attending exhibitions can be a great opportunity to test out the demand for your products in international markets, and Mark’s success is testament to the rewards that this can provide.  We will continue to work with the team at Summer Harvest to develop their export plan and provide practical support to help Mark to realise his international ambitions.  

With our Scotland Food & Drink partners we have invested in a team of in-market Food & Drink specialists who can open doors to new opportunities with premium retailers and foodservice operators.  This can help ambitious companies such as Summer Harvest fully exploit the international potential of their fantastic products.  

It’s an exciting time for our industry; we’re starting to see a much wider range of Scottish food & drink products being exported.  Scotch whisky, salmon, seafood and red meat already have a strong international reputation, and we’re now seeing products such as craft beers and gins, dairy and bakery and now rapeseed oil really coming into their own in international markets. Scottish rapeseed oil is already starting to make waves in the culinary world, with international chefs recognising the appeal of its taste and health credentials, and in the next few years, we expect that it will become well established as a premium Scottish product.”

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Chris Fairbairn of Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

Chris Fairbairn

Chris Fairbairn is an Account Director with award-winning public relations agency Holyrood PR. He is part of an expert PR team delivering PR services to a wide range of clients from headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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