Perthshire farm secures £1m to boost potato production

FIMM Potatoes has used the £1 million fund to purchase a new optical potato grader
FIMM Potatoes has used the £1 million fund to purchase a new optical potato grader

A Perthshire farming business that supplies table and seed potatoes around the world is modernising its operating processes after securing a £1m fund.

FIMM Potatoes, which exports to UK, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, will use the facility to purchase a best-in-class optical potato grader.

The huge multi-level, fully automatic potato sorter includes innovative technology and intelligent controls which will help increase throughput by up to 100%.

The new equipment will also relieve FIMM’s 10-strong team from repetitive manual labour, allowing them to focus on additional duties and developing technical skills to help the business continue to grow.

Mike McDiarmid, Director at FIMM Potatoes, said: “We have a young and talented management team in Mitch Hayfield and James McDiarmid who are driving the business, continually looking at ways to improve efficiency on the farm.

"It is an important time for the sector and the new optical grader will modernise our equipment and help to safeguard the business."

The finance was allocated from HSBC UK’s national £14 billion SME Fund, which aims to support British businesses grow amid Brexit and the coronavirus.

What support has HSBC UK announced?

The bank has announced a package of support for small and medium sized businesses dealing with Covid-19.

• £5bn to help businesses that need support

• Preferential financial solutions for ventilator businesses

• Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme launched

• £100 Small Business Loan fee waiver

• Relationship managers proactively contacting customers to see what help their businesses need

• Launching a helpline to support any customer queries (08000 121 614, open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday)

• Offering repayment holidays to free up cash within businesses

• Reviewing overdrafts or trade loans to allow stock to be held for longer

• Providing trade finance solutions to support customers with their supply chains