ARBROATH Rotary Club is making use of a local treasure to raise money to fight disease in the developing world.
On Monday, representatives of Rotary gathered at Stuart’s Fresh Fish on Ladybridge Street to launch the first batch of Fellowship Smokies.
The club is working in partnership with fellow Rotarian Stuart Scott, owner of Stuart’s Fresh Fish, to produce a line of smokies for sale across the UK which will raise money for the Rotary Club’s Foundation Charity.
The charity aims to eradicate polio globally, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match any funds raised.
President Mike Sowden was on hand at the launch to explain the idea behind the launch. He revealed: “A number of clubs have things like malt whiskies, fudge and so on.
“We have a protected product in Arbroath Smokies and launched that as a Fellowship Smokie.
“With the launching of the Fellowship Smokie all funds will go to the Fellowship Fund and will hopefully show everyone what Rotary is all about.”
Stuart Scott believes the Fellowship Smokie could be a big hit for the Foundation Charity, he said: “I don’t see any reason not to have orders of between 20 and 40 pairs per week.
“It could generate around four or five thousand pounds per year. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will double anything we raise.
“It’s a win-win situation. If we raise four or five thousand we’ll donate eight or 10 thousand. We hope to make some serious money for charity.”
Jamie Buchan, store director at Specsavers Optician in the Abbeygate, and Rotarian, is one of the partners in the project.
Jamie explained the germ of an idea had existed in the club for some time, and just needed a little push to get started.
He said: “I’m an ideas man. Stuart and I joined the Rotary in July last year and within six months we have a product.
“I’m absolutely delighted with the response from the press and the excitement generated has been brilliant. We hope this quality product is part of an exciting time for Arbroath Rotary.”
Orders can be placed online at www.arbroathsmokiesdirect.co.uk or by calling 01241 876254 and 20 per cent of the price will go straight to the Foundation Charity, but make sure and click the Fellowship Smokies tab when ordering online!
Mo Morrison was also on hand to represent Arbroath Rotary Club and became involved because of her background in smokies.
She said: “I wanted to be involved because for many years my dad produced some of the best Arbroath smokies.
“The hard work and the enthusiasm that Stuart and Jamie have shown has just been an absolute credit.”
In April Stuart will have his own stand at the Rotary Conference, by which time they hope that Fellowship Smokies are already a nationwide success.