Deals summary

Inverleith buys online butcher | backing for fish firm

Ben Thomson: supporting Farmison’s vision (pic: Terry Murden)

Inverleith, the Edinburgh-based specialist consumer brand investor chaired by Ben Thomson, has acquired a majority stake in Farmison & Co, the online butcher. 

Focused on British heritage and rare breeds, and an ethical, sustainable supply chain, Yorkshire-based Farmison is on a mission to encourage UK consumers to ‘eat better meat’.  

Mr Thomson said: “We have admired Farmison & Co for some time, supporting its vision for the future of the premium consumer meat industry.  

“The value and principles of Farmison strike a chord with modern day consumers and in Inverleith’s care, we will strengthen these product qualities and company values, helping more consumers ‘eat better meat’.

“I’m delighted to welcome Farmison into Inverleith’s collection of premium consumer brands, where it makes a great addition to our portfolio”.  

Investment in fish health

A new spinout company from the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) aims to transform health diagnostic practices in the £245 billion global aquaculture sector.

WellFish Diagnostics – which has developed the first non-lethal method for assessing fish health – will benefit from a £1.2 million investment from the University, Kelvin Capital and Scottish Enterprise.

Traditional fish health testing can take days before producing results and often requires lethal sampling. WellFish – the second spin-out company to emerge from UWS – has established a method to enable fish farmers to continually monitor the health of their fish population via blood sampling, in a unique approach developed by the company in conjunction with the salmon farming industry in Scotland.

CEO Brian Quinn, a Professor of Ecotoxicology within the School of Health and Life Sciences at UWS, is a two-time Converge Challenge finalist and winner of the 2019 European Aquaculture Society Innovation Forum.

The company is working with the entire Scottish salmon sector, a large trout farm, and producers in Ireland and Norway to provide fish farmers with technology and training to take their own samples, which are then sent to WellFish for testing. The company is based in a state-of-the-art laboratory at UWS’s Paisley campus.

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