FVL LEADER is delighted that one of its Farm Diversification Projects - Fordhead Tea Plantation near Kippen - is selected for inclusion in ESEC's publication on providing insights into the quality and diversity of EU funded projects in the East of Scotland.
The East of Scotland European Consortium (ESEC) represents the interests of seven local authorities in Eastern Scotland. The members are Aberdeen City, Angus, Dundee City, Falkirk, Fife, Perth and Kinross, and Stirling Councils.
The East of Scotland is an area of contrasting rural and urban landscapes with a significant North Sea coastline. We have strong credentials in the growth sectors of food and drink (including agriculture and fisheries), the creative industries (including digital), tourism, energy (oil and gas, renewables) and life sciences.
The member councils have been fully engaged with the current EU funding programmes, and of those previously, and the information in this booklet is a brief overview of some key projects, and the benefits they have delivered for communities and councils.
Fordhead Farm in Kippen is an arable farm with the principal income coming from the production and sale of timothy hay to the animal feed market. Approximately six years ago the business was hit hard. This happened when a large AD waste company spread fertiliser contaminated by waste plastic fragments over the hay field, and therefore the crop could not be sold for animal consumption. An exploration of diversification options became a necessity rather than optional, with the innovative idea of growing tea in poly tunnels which had not been done in Scotland before - there are a small number tea plantations in other parts of Scotland, but planted out to face the elements of the Scottish climate.
An application to LEADER was made and the rest, as they say, is history!