Media release: Funding bid to bring salt harvesting back to the East Neuk of Fife

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THE founder of the East Neuk Salt Company has launched a funding bid to bring sea salt harvesting back to the East Neuk, restoring one of Fife’s historic industries.

St Monan’s local, Darren Peattie, whose family has lived in the area for over 200 years, established the East Neuk Salt Company 14 months ago to realise his vision of bringing sea salt harvesting back to the region and celebrate the heritage of an once thriving industry.

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise £28,450 which will allow the business to acquire the final pieces of equipment needed to produce salt at scale, including a 2,500-litre vacuum evaporator and crystalliser beds.

The St Monans-based business is understood to be the only hand-harvested producer of gourmet sea salt on mainland Scotland and will produce up to two tonnes of hand-harvested salt per month when production is up and running.

Founder, Darren, said: “We have a rich history of salt harvesting across the region and the heritage of the East Neuk is the strong foundation on which we plan to build the business.

“Our vision is to be one of the most innovative sea salt harvesting companies in Scotland, with sustainability and zero waste at the heart of our operation.

“The by-products of salt harvesting can be used to make drinking water and ice, as well as being used in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries.”

He continued: “The success of our funding bid – fittingly taking place in the Year of Coast and Waters 2020 – will allow us to purchase the pieces of equipment which are fundamental to getting us to the scale where local employment and development can occur.

“That’s what we want to achieve: a level of growth which creates local jobs and delivers a sustainable contribution to the local community.”

East Neuk Salt Company is projected to have a six-figure turnover by the end of year one and growth plans include a cook school and education programme, alongside salt harvesting, creating around 20 jobs.

Initial batches of the hand-harvested salt have been used by Michelin star chef, Billy Boyter, of The Cellar in Anstruther, Sophie Latinis of the Pittenweem Chocolate Company and at the Federation of Scottish Chefs 25th anniversary dinner in November 2019.

Sophie Latinis, owner of the Pittenweem Chocolate Company, said: “Not only is the quality of product from the East Neuk Salt Company extremely good, it is also produced just up the road from us and supporting local producers and suppliers is one of our core values. We used the salt in our dark chocolate shards and are excited about the prospect of using it more widely in our bars when they go into full production.”

The crowdfunder closes on 12th October 2020.

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