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The Grassroots of Business at the Royal Highland Show


On the 44th year as partner to Scotland’s largest agricultural event, Royal Bank of Scotland showcases some of the businesses who can see a new future in farming

On Thursday, The Royal Highland Show returns to Edinburgh. The event follows the sixth wettest spring in history in the UK, creating untold pressure for the sector, which employs almost 70,000 people here in Scotland.

Accounting for a greater percentage of GDP in Scotland than the rest of the UK, agriculture plays a key role in Scottish cultural and business life.

This year marks Royal Bank of Scotland’s 44th year as partner to the event – the longest partnership in the bank’s history. But the bank is taking the opportunity this year to showcase businesses looking to the future of agriculture through a different lens and seeing where new opportunities lie.

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To demonstrate its support for farming entrepreneurs, Royal Bank has allocated its activation space to platform two exciting businesses on the Royal Bank of Scotland Accelerator Hub programme who will exhibit across the weekend.

One such business is Glasgow’s Naked Kimchi, founded in 2021 by Katerina Hayes who is originally from the Ukraine and is now British. Katerina introduced traditional Ukrainian fermenting practices to Scotland 16 years ago, producing a 100% vegan, free-from kimchi with her father’s authentic recipe. In response to ongoing world events, Naked Kimchi & Co has provided employment opportunities for displaced Ukrainian people.

Naked Kimchi & Co’s approach commits to pioneering mindful eating and emphasises the importance of gut health. The business supports local farmers, aiming to shorten the supply chain, and provide a delicious superfood that is loved by both individuals and the restaurant industry. Their efforts contribute to better food security while bringing fresh, delicious kimchi to chefs’ tables.

By harnessing the potential of overlooked “wonky” vegetables and utilising every part of the harvest, Naked Kimchi helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating a healthy superfood that benefits individuals and contributes to building better food security.

In recognition of the business’ success, Katerina and Naked Kimchi have recently picked up a Scottish Edge award, receiving £65,000 funding to continue to back their sustainability mission.

Naked Kimchi will be joined by West Lothian entrepreneur, Marie-Claire and her business, Dream Magic Superfood Powders.

After experiencing the health benefits of superfoods first-hand, having tried multiple options when tired and burnt out from raising a family and working as a fitness coach, Marie-Claire spotted an opportunity to help Scots live a healthier life and brought her own blend to market.

Using her qualifications in health and nutrition, Marie-Claire has led the business from strength to strength and Dream Magic Superfood Powders now offers six different blends for customers to choose from.

With the platform provided by Royal Bank of Scotland across the weekend, both businesses will be able showcase their produce and provide free samples while building industry connections and brand awareness.

The businesses are both on the Royal Bank Accelerator programme. Entirely free, the Entrepreneur Accelerator initiative is aimed at high-growth businesses looking to scale. It provides access to coaching, mentoring, events and co-working hubs with the intention of helping fledgling businesses to unlock new markets, attract new talent, access growth funding and to build leadership skills and scalable infrastructure.

You can support Naked Kimchi here and Dream Magic Superfood Powders here

Katerina, CEO Naked Kimchi commented:“We are deeply grateful for the support we’ve received from the Royal Bank Accelerator Programme. The guidance and resources on offer have been pivotal in helping us scale and grow the business.

“Being given the platform to attend the Royal Highland Show is testament to the backing we’ve been given as a business and we’re looking forward to sharing our passion for authentic Kimchi with the industry and to connect with fellow food and environmental enthusiasts”

Marie-Claire, CEO Dream Magic Superfood added: “The expertise and opportunity provided by the Accelerator programme has been transformative for my journey as an entrepreneur, enabling me to grow my business and further develop my skillset in sales and marketing to running and operating a successful business.

The accelerator has helped me to navigate challenges along the way and to lay a strong foundation for sustainable growth.

We are incredibly excited to exhibit our superfood powder range at the Royal Highland Show. This event is a fantastic platform us to build our brand profile with the industry and customers alike.”

Support for the agricultural industry offered by the bank includes:

Agriculture Relationship Managers: Royal Bank has specialist advisers working as agricultural relationship managers able to understand the unique needs of land-based businesses. One third of these are women.

Finance: In July 2022, NatWest Group, of which Royal Bank is a part, confirmed a £1.25billion lending package for farmers, taking its total lending capacity to the agriculture sector to over £6.7billion. The extended support came as farmers face multiple cost challenges as fertiliser, fuel, feed and energy costs continue to rise.

Women in Agriculture: Since 2017, Royal Bank of Scotland has been heavily involved in the Women in Agriculture group, providing mentors and specialist support to help equip women with the tools they need to counter the barriers they face in their careers.

Chartered Banker Institute: All Royal Bank agri-relationship managers are independently accredited by the Chartered Banker Institute (supported by NFU Scotland).

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