Scotland business

Haggis producer Macsween plans for Brexit fallout

haggis Image copyright PA
Image caption There is huge demand for haggis in January, with demand driven by Burns Night

The boss of Scotland's largest haggis maker has plans to make sure the world-famous dish continues to be made in the event of a catastrophic Brexit.

James Macsween, of Macsween, said the biggest risk was access to spare machinery parts.

Mr Macsween said that was because most equipment used in the UK food industry came from the continent.

He told the BBC he had put contingency plans in place, adding : "We'll cope with whatever comes our way".

Edinburgh-based Macsween sells two million portions of haggis in January - 30% of its turnover - driven by demand around Burns Night.

The family firm exports to France and Germany.

'Entrepreneurial spirit'

Amid moves by some companies to stockpile goods ahead of the the UK's planned departure from the EU, Mr Macsween said: "Certainly it's one of the things we've had to consider."

He told BBC radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "Most food machinery in the British food industry typically comes from the continent, and I think we've identified our biggest risk as spare parts.

"So we are looking at contingency spare parts, secondary equipment, bonded spares, so in the event of a catastrophic failure, we're going to be able to keep our machines running regardless of the fallout of Brexit."

Mr Macsween added: "The decisions of Brexit are not really in my hands - but we'll cope with whatever comes our way."

Image caption Canada has become the biggest export market for Macsween

Canada has become the biggest export market for Macsween, after the company came up with a new haggis recipe to get round the country's import ban on offal.

"Lung meat had to be taken out of the recipe, which is a very traditional part of what makes up a haggis," said Mr Macsween.

"However, we've been able to develop a haggis which is just as tasty without lung meat and it's an all-lamb recipe, so we're using lamb heart and lamb fat.

"You would hardly notice the difference."

He said: "That's just the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that businesses need - whether it's haggis or another food product.

"You've just got to develop the product to meet the requirements of the market that you're looking to get into."

Macsween also sends vegetarian haggis to the US, where traditional haggis imports are outlawed.