Jennifer Brodie
Jennifer Brodie

Aberdeenshire company shows volcanic growth

Banchory-based REMIN (Scotland) Ltd has secured two new distribution deals that will see its organically approved volcanic rock dust enrich the soils of Denmark and Sweden.

The deals increase the number of European countries already importing the all-natural, nutrient rich soil and compost enhancer to seven, with discussions now underway with potential distributors in Norway and Portugal.

Owner, Jennifer Brodie, has also secured further deals within the farming sector, transporting over 1,120 tonnes of product to dairy, arable and livestock farmers in Perthshire, North East England and the south coast over the summer months.

Brodie – a qualified zoologist who is benefiting from Business Gateway Aberdeen City & Shire’s Business Boost scheme for existing businesses, to grow her enterprise – is now undertaking a trial with the James Hutton Institute.

The trial, funded through Interface’s multiparty competition, will scientifically quantify potential improvement in yield and nutrient value of the crop after REMIN is added to the soil at P.A. Arbuckle and Son’s Honeyberry farm near Dundee.

Jennifer said: “This year has been tremendous for the company. Word is spreading about the benefits of our volcanic rock dust, which contains the full range of minerals and trace elements required for healthy and fertile soil and compost. When farmers, hobbyists, allotment and commercial gardeners start to use REMIN they see the benefits over time, reporting increased yield, health and vigour, flavour, colour and a significant reduction in pests and diseases of their crops. This is because REMIN boosts the soil’s living organisms, helping them to release critical minerals rather than destroy the soil’s food web like many synthetic fertilisers do. Positive feedback online has helped me secure these new distribution deals, while the Honeyberry trial will allow me to scientifically and physically highlight the benefits of my product.

“When I first started REMIN I went to Business Gateway for advice, as I’d had support from them in the past. When I hit a hurdle getting started my adviser was a lifeline and paved the way for me to launch the company. I’d also completed a number of the free start-up workshops that gave me a fantastic grounding in running my own company. Most recently I’ve secured help through the Business Boost programme, which has included a review of my website that will help increase my reach. My adviser and I are now working on a Scottish Enterprise ‘Make it to Market’ grant application and she has connected me to Scottish Development International, Robert Gordon University, and Interface who provided the funding for the trial.”

Alison West, Adviser, Business Gateway Aberdeen City & Shire, said: “Over the years, Jennifer has used our advice to lay down a firm foundation for her business. Now, thanks to Business Boost, which is funded through the European Regional Development Fund, we are working to help her increase turnover by a minimum £100k over the next three years. Through the scheme she will benefit from a strategy workshop and sales and marketing advice that will help her reach that target.”

Having worked for a leading environmental services company for 10-years, Jennifer successfully applied for a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship in 2003 that allowed her to travel around Europe to research waste management.

On completion of her fellowship she won the Pol Roger Award for most outstanding fellowship of the year, which then led the former member of the SEPA North Board to set up her own business development consultancy. Three months later she came across volcanic rock dust and its benefits which ultimately led to the creation of REMIN.

Jennifer added: “It’s taken a lot of hard work and sacrifice to get to where I am today. Hitting the glass ceiling in the corporate world started me on this journey. If you’d told me back then I’d be so passionate, and see so much untapped potential, in this ancient Scottish rock that is hundreds of millions of years old I’d have laughed! But this organically certified, multiple award-winning product is what drives me now. My ultimate aim is to make REMIN a global brand, renowned throughout the gardening, horticultural and farming markets for the natural health benefits it brings to our soils, plants, and diets – and ultimately even the world.”