SCOTLAND will soon taste its first ever buffalo mozzarella after a farmer reached his £800,000 funding goal.

Fife Buffalo farmer Steve Mitchell’s ambition to provide Scotland with its first-ever home-produced buffalo mozzarella, with sustainability at its heart, started after a visit from Gordon Ramsay.

The money raised from the crowdfunder will allow Mitchell to build his manufacturing facility, milking parlour and slurry store near his farm at Boglily Steading, outside Kirkcaldy.

The £2 million scheme, also supported by a Scottish Government grant, will also see Mitchell make the business as environmentally sustainable as possible.

People have signed up in droves to a founders’ club, which will allow some of them to name one of Steve’s 100-strong herd and provides other benefits and returns.

Those involved will have their names inscribed on the wall in the milking parlour, which will have a viewing platform.

Mitchell also wants to make his business as environmentally sustainable as possible.

Through the planting of hedges and trees, providing habitats for wildlife, making use of land that isn’t suitable for the growing of crops and the ways in which he feeds his livestock, Mitchell is making a positive contribution towards climate change.

He feeds his animals on a grass diet in summer and, in winter, a dry feed diet, which The Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research in Aberystwyth says produces less methane and is better for the environment.

The Buffalo Farm is also committed to ensuring that all packaging will be fully recyclable by the end of 2020 and will be installing sustainable energy solutions in the new mozzarella facility.

To celebrate, Mitchell arranged for farmer and comedian Jim Smith to take centre stage at a Buff in the Barn launch party in summer next year.

Mitchell said: “Producing buffalo mozzarella has been on my list of priorities and dreams for years and I am over the moon that it will now become a reality.

“I am also overwhelmed by the amount of support that we have received. Without those businesses and individuals who have contributed within the founders club and crowdfund, we would not be able to take the next step in our journey. The door is still open and the Crowdfunder rewards in particular would make ideal Christmas presents so we’d love to have you on board. Whilst there are many strings to the buffalo bow, never a day goes by when I don’t think about how I can make sure that my business can make the most positive possible contribution to community and sustainability. I believe that this has helped to encourage people to support my business.

“I give my heartfelt thanks to everybody who has contributed to this success. Whether you donated yourself, encouraged somebody else to or simply shared our news on social media, you have helped to make this dream become a reality.

“Why not book tickets to the Buff in the Barn 2020 party and enjoy a fabulous evening of comedy from Jim Smith, great food, drink and dancing, all they while supporting our new venture?

“Local provenance is becoming increasingly important to many people for political, environmental and taste reasons and I look forward to producing the very best Scottish mozzarella for my customers to enjoy.”