Meat vending machine venture

Wednesday November 11th 2020


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A family farm is set to launch a self-service butcher’s shop in time for Christmas.

Peter and Eilidh Eccles plan to offer their own meat for sale from an innovative vending machine at the edge of Saughland Farm, Pathhead.

The couple launched Native and Wild meat boxes in March last year, delivering boxes of their own produce to customers near and far, and the business has grown from strength to strength.

Now they hope to have the self-service shop installed by the start of next month as they gear up for a busy festive season.

Eilidh, who works two days a week as a practice nurse and is mum to two young children, said:

“We wanted to offer something out of the normal eggs, fruit and veg produce.

“All those things have a place, of course, but we thought it would be good to offer something a little different.

“We have a very loyal base of customers who have been very supportive of us and hope this will add to our business.

“We think it will be good for us and good for the community.”

The plans were first revealed in a planning application lodged with Midlothian Council, which ruled that the farm shop did not require planning permission.

In a report, planning officers said:

“The vending machine that will be housed within the building is effectively a modern interpretation of a farm shop.

“Farm shops on active farms can be considered to be ancillary to the main agricultural use of a farm provided that the shop sells only produce from the farm and a maximum of 10 per cent of imported goods.

“Meat that is butchered off site and then returned to the farm for sale does not count as imported goods.”

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