March 4 2015 Latest news:
Ben Woods, Business writer
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Fakenham-based Norfolk Quail has seen a new processing plant take wing thanks to a five-figure investment.
The Future 50 company have converted part of a grain store into the new factory, which has received the rubber stamp of approval by the Food Standards Agency.
The business, which is led by John and Ellie Savory, applied for an investment boost through Natwest and the government-backed Funding for Lending Scheme.
It comes after they secured a Rural Economy Grant from the Rural Development Programme for England in June 2013 to kick-start their expansion plans.
Mrs Savory said: “We wanted to produce quail meat for a number of reasons, not least because ‘free to fly’ quail meat was undiscovered in Britain.
“But by farming for quail eggs and meat we are able to reduce waste as both cocks and hens are used, just part of our ‘ethical farming’ mantra.”
Norfolk Quail will now look to supply restaurants across Great Britain and is‒ no longer restricted to supplying locally.
The investment also sees the business expanding its own brand of eggs and increasing its workforce, with up to five new positions in the coming year. Stuart Baxter, agriculture relationship manager for NatWest, said: “John and Ellie are driven to provide the highest quality products and have such a unique offering.
“It is a pleasure to have been able to give them the support they needed to take their business to the next level.”
Based on their farm in Great Ryburgh, near Fakenham, Norfolk Quail was incorporated in May 2012. With the emphasis on ethical farming and with a healthy flock of over 20,000 quails, the business actively promotes sustainable farming practices.
The business is currently looking to breakthrough the £500,000 turnover barrier.
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With a reputation as one of the toughest people in business, many stores would shudder at the thought of getting the Mary Portas treatment.