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A Year of Covid-19: The Farmer’s Son has seen growth during the pandemic and made changes to business practices that will become norm

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Fife-based business The Farmer’s Son has made changes to its business model during the coronavirus pandemic that have benefited the enterprise as a whole.

The current global coronavirus pandemic has put immense pressure on the UK economy. However, for some businesses it has provided the catalyst to sustainable working practice.

One such business is award-winning haggis, black pudding, white pudding and lorne sausage producer, The Farmer’s Son.

Founder of The Farmer’s Son, Pete Mitchell, has seized the opportunity for growth during a trying time for the food and drink sector.

And the changes he has made to his enterprise, which has enjoyed a number of wins during the Covid-19 outbreak, he believes will stand him in good stead as the country begins to plot its way to recovery.


Based in Auchtertool, near Kirkcaldy, Pete Mitchell founded The Farmer’s Son in 2016 with the vision of returning to his family’s roots of producing quality food with real provenance.

With 300 years of family farming heritage and having worked in the city, Pete felt well placed to start his business.

Pete Mitchell of The Farmer’s Son with his products.

However, a global pandemic in his fourth year was not what he was expecting as he forged ahead with his ambitious business plans.

Pete said: “Like every business, we have seen a number of challenges during the pandemic; some of our hospitality clients have not reopened their doors, food and trade shows have been cancelled and more generally we have had to modify the way we work.

“However, in other ways, we have been prepared. Being a young family business, we have always encouraged a family-friendly way of working which has been pivotal to achieving growth during the current climate.

“Even before the pandemic, our business support staff were set up for home working and given the additional childcare issues that lockdown created we were able to work flexibly to support them.”

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Posted by The Farmer's Son Black Pudding & Haggis on Thursday, 21 January 2021

New customer base

And Pete has also seen that people seeking out more local produce, which is key to what they do at The Farmer’s Son, has brought him a new customer base.

This, in turn, has seen the company enjoy an online sales boost which they hope will continue as things begin to return to some sort of normality.

“Although the hospitality sector has taken a major hit, we have seen a customer trend in the desire for quality, locally produced food that supports the economy around them,” Pete revealed.

Pete Mitchell of The Farmers Son.

“Not only have we seen our website sales increase, we have also seen an increase in orders from farm shops and convenience stores, as well as securing a deal with the North of England supermarket chain, Booths.

“Low food miles isn’t just about the environment, it’s about ensuring that our farmers, millers and grocers have a sustainable future.”

“Great service”

And providing an efficient delivery network means customers have confidence in the business which, Pete believes, will continue to thrive.

He continued: “Great service has become even more important to customers during the pandemic and utilising our established network meant that we could reliably deliver.

“Having a local supply chain has been a vital part of this, only using Scottish ingredients in our products and hand-making them to order, means that our customers have been able to count on us.”

Flexibility with regards to how his staff work has also been of vital importance for The Farmer’s Son, which recently won a contract to export its products to Hong Kong, and it is something that will continue in the weeks, months and years ahead as the recovery from Covid-19 continues.

“With regulations changing frequently we cannot afford to stick to a regimented way of working, we need to be able to support flexibility in our staff so that our business can continue to thrive.

“We’ve all had to get used to children joining in on meetings in recent months and that way of working, at least at The Farmer’s Son, is here to stay.”

More in this series …

A Year of Covid-19: Food and drink industry chief ‘optimistic’ there are better times ahead for resilient businesses

A year of Covid-19: ‘Mackies is the second-fastest growing ice cream brand in the UK just now, only second to Ben & Jerry’s’