Scotland business

Biscuit firm's expansion plan despite Brexit worry

Image caption Border Biscuits has been growing for nine years and is now looking for further expansion

High-end Scottish food firm Border Biscuits has called for certainty over Brexit, while looking to expand into non-EU countries like China and the US.

The Lanark-based company has been stockpiling raw ingredients and spare machine parts ahead of the UK's planned EU departure on 31 October.

Border Biscuits is investing £3.5m as part of an expansion push.

The plans come as a UK government source said a Brexit deal was "essentially impossible".

Border Biscuits commercial director Mark Bruce told BBC Scotland: "As a business we'd like to see certainty, but we can't allow external factors to stop us doing what we've done over the years - which is continue to invest in the brand and the businesses."

On getting ready for Brexit, Mr Bruce told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "We don't take a lot of raw material from outside the UK - where we can we source locally - but where we have, we've brought in an increased level of stock just to give us some comfort and our customers some comfort."

He added: "We carry a degree of spare parts - where those spare parts would be sourced from abroad we've taken some stock so we have them on site, so we're taking where we can mitigating risk."

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Meanwhile, the family-run company, founded by businessman John Cunningham in 1984, has been investing in its brand, employing and training more people and investing in new machinery.

It has also removed more than 90% of single-use plastic from its packaging.

Image caption Border's warehouse can hold about five million biscuits

Mr Bruce said the strategy included getting products on more supermarket shelves, into more hotel rooms and on to more passenger planes.

"In the last nine years we've managed to grow our volume and value sales, and we're pretty proud of that," he said.

"We already export our products to over 21 countries, and we've been exporting now for 15 to 20 years."

Mr Bruce said Border Biscuits were already available in Hong Kong, adding: "We have a small presence in China. It's an area we're looking at with interest at the moment.

"We have limited sales in the US and, without breaching commercial confidentiality. I think its a market we're looking at with interest - some sales I think we could develop more."

For more on this story and the latest business news as it happens, follow BBC presenter Andrew Black's updates each weekday morning on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme between 0600 and 0900.