Food producers must ‘tell their stories’
SUPERJAM entrepreneur Fraser Doherty has accused other Scottish food and drink producers of failing to tell customers about the provenance of their products.
Doherty, who was 17 when he set up his business in his mother’s kitchen and sold his first products to grocery chain Waitrose, thinks producers need to improve communication with customers.
The jam-maker, now 24, will use a speech in Glasgow this week to tell manufacturers that they need to do more to emphasise where their produce comes from.
Doherty, dubbed “Jam Boy” by the media, will be addressing an audience from Entrepreneurial Spark, the start-up business incubator project set up in Ayrshire and Glasgow by Sir Willie Haughey and Sir Tom Hunter.
He said: “There are a lot of great businesses trying to get off the ground which have really good products, but they let themselves down when it comes to things like packaging, marketing and telling their stories.
“That’s particularly true of the food and drink sector, where I meet a lot of entrepreneurs producing some of the most amazing products.”
Doherty said he was looking to share some of his enthusiasm for business with people who are setting up companies at the centres.
“Starting a business has changed my life and I’m really passionate about sharing what I’ve learned to encourage other people to give their ideas a shot,” he said.
Laura Hogg, who appeared in the most recent series of The Apprentice and is now setting up a company at the Glasgow incubator centre to develop childcare products, will also speak at the event about her experience on the BBC television show.
Start-up firms taking part in Friday’s event at the Grand Central Hotel will compete for £25,000 of funding from Royal Bank of Scotland, which has agreed to support Haughey and Hunter’s project over the next three years.
Jim Duffy, who runs the incubator centre at Haughey’s City Refrigeration head office in the East End of Glasgow, said: “SuperJam is an amazing Scottish success story, and Fraser’s determination to succeed is the kind of inspirational tale that every aspiring entrepreneur should hear.”
Entrepreneurs who join the incubator centres are given a desk, a computer and a telephone for free so they can start their own businesses.
Some of the companies founded at the sites are already starting to taste success, with Eat Balanced – which has launched a nutritionally balanced pizza with the help of Glasgow University’s chair of human nutrition, Professor Mike Lean – expected to unveil a major deal with a UK retailer soon.
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