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Facts & Figures

Some interesting statistics about food in Fife

Fife’s agriculture, fishing and drinks industries bring many millions of pounds to the local economy, and provide several thousand jobs.

There are over 1500 agricultural holdings catering for cereals, general cropping, horticulture, specialist pigs and poultry, dairy herds, cattle and sheep, deer, and specialist grass and forage. They employ over three thousand people, and most of the jobs are full-time.

Scottish Sea Fisheries statistics (published September 2012) show that Pittenweem had 1401 tonnes of landings worth just over £4.5 million in 2011, with prawns making up the bulk of the catches. Other species included edible crabs, lobsters, razor fish, scallops, squid, surf clams and velvet crabs. There were 120 active Pittenweem district fishing vessels in 2011, and they provided employment for 165 fishermen, 51 of them part-time.

Food Fact

A very early seafood product from the East Neuk was the “Crail Capon” - a sun dried haddock. The capon is represented in the town’s unique weathervane, which has a fish as part of its design. It is thought that fish was exported from Crail as early as the 9th century. At one time the Royal Burgh of Crail had the largest medieval market place in Europe.

Food Fact

In the 13th century the Firth of Forth’s native oyster fishery was one of the most commercially important in Scotland. At its peak it provided 30 million oysters per year, which were exported to Glasgow, western Scotland , England and the Continent. The trade died out completely in 1920. Although it was thought that Firth of Forth oysters had become extinct, live specimens were discovered by scientists from the University of Stirling in 2009.

Food Fact

Anstruther was Scotland’s main herring fishing port. A permanent reminder of the trade is the Anstruther - based Reaper, a two masted Fifie herring drifter which was built in 1902, and now belongs to the Scottish Fisheries Museum, www.scotfishmuseum.org.

Food Fact

The Newburgh Orchard Group (www.newburghorchards.org.uk) holds special markets every year, mainly to sell plums and apples grown in and around the town. In one bumper year recently 3000lbs of fruit and 600 jars of jam were sold. The area’s connection to organised fruit growing dates back to 1191, when Lindores Abbey was founded by monks from France. Their fruit was eaten locally, supplied to the Scottish royal court at Falkland, and made into alcohol. A 2003 survey looked at over 800 trees in nearly 70 locations, and found a number of varieties of pears, plums and apples

Food Fact

The name for Spencerfield Spirit Company’s acclaimed Sheep Dip whisky comes from an old West Country term. British farmers have long referred to whisky as Sheep Dip (which was an insecticide used to delouse sheep prior to sheering). There was a time when farmers distilled their own 'home made' whisky, and in order to avoid paying taxes to the revenue man, they'd hide it in barrels marked 'SD'.

Food Fact

James Anderson, who farmed the Spencerfield land around the mid to late 1700’s, was partly responsible for the inspiration behind the US bourbon industry. A trained distiller, he left Spencerfield Farm in 1791, aged 46, as he was affected by a law being passed at the time that banned spirits from being distilled outside London. With his wife and five children, he set sail for a new life in Virginia. Upon arrival, James quickly gained employment as George Washington's Farm Manager at Mount Vernon.  James persuaded the industrious Washington to build a pot still at Mount Vernon, which quickly became a major contributor to the farm's prosperity - producing 11,000 gallons of 'whiskey' a year. Today, Mount Vernon is a National Monument in the USA.

Food Fact

It is a little recognised fact that Lindores Abbey near Newburgh is said to be the oldest recorded distilling site in Scotland. A monk at Lindores, John Cor, was distilling as far back as 1494, and in the same year King James IV of Scotland, through the Royal Scottish Court at Falkland, granted the monk “eight bols of malt” to make whisky. The abbey was supplied with spring water from nearby Ormiston Hill via Monks Well and Abbots Well(source www.thewhiskybarrel.com)

Food Fact

Pepsico UK-owned Quaker(www.pepsico.co.uk/quaker-oats)  is the UK’s favourite oats company. Based in Cupar, Fife, Quaker has been making oats for over 100 years, and uses much of the oat crop grown in the Kingdom.

Food Fact

Pepsico UK is investing £8.5 million in the Quaker Oats site at Cupar in order to meet increasing consumer demand for Quaker’s hot cereals, which has grown by 13% over the last year. The new state-of-the-art plant will boost oat milling capacity and allow for increased production.

Food Fact

Quaker is to use self-generated renewable energy to power its site at Uthrogle Mills, near Cupar. Oat husks, the part of the oat left over from making porridge, will be used to generate energy for the entire site. The centrepiece will be a £6m combined heat and power biomass boiler. The new boiler, which is around five times more expensive than a conventional fossil fuel boiler, will generate enough steam and electricity to power the site, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 9,000 tonnes a year - a huge reduction equivalent to the typical annual carbon emissions of 3,000 cars.

Food Fact

The Quaker trademark was adopted to represent the purity of living, honesty and strength of character of the Quaker movement. The trade mark, registered at the United States Patent Office in 1877, was the first trade mark to be registered for a breakfast cereal.

Food Fact

Quaker Oats have been produced on the Cupar site since 1947. The site is currently home to Quaker Oats and Scott’s Porage Oats. It also produces Oat So Simple, as well as Quaker’s latest innovation, Quaker Oat So Simple Pots, designed to make porridge preparations even easier.

Food Fact

Quaker states that a bowl of Quaker Oats can help keep you going for about 4 hrs and 21 minutes.

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