THE owner of Seriously Good Venison has taken on a new butchery business, which will help to preserve cutting and packing services for small farmers.

Vikki Banks has formed Seriously Good Butchery to add to her portfolio after Highland Drovers, based in Perth, decided it wanted to exit from the butchery services it provided.

While Highland Drovers will still sell beef it will be Ms Banks and her team offering bespoke cutting and packing of beef, lamb and pork. She believes that will help keep costs lower at a time when many farmers are facing higher charges to take livestock further away to be slaughtered.

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Seriously Good Butchery, which employs five people, will be based at the same premises it previously occupied in Perth but operate separately from Seriously Good Venison, which has its main site in the village of Abernethy.

Ms Banks said talks on the deal began in August but the takeover was only formalised earlier this month.

She said: "I'm passionate about the fantastic produce we have in Scotland and understand the pressures small businesses like my own are facing. Losing this facility may have been a blow too far for some businesses so I'm committed to building up the excellent service people have come to expect at Highland Drovers."

In the longer term she hopes to develop the Seriously Good Butchery brand but says the first few months will be about "making sure it is ticking over".

Ms Banks joined Fletchers of Auchtermuchty in 2009 and when the owners retired in 2012 she bought the business then rebranded it as Seriously Good Venison.