Macsween has supplied haggis to Wetherspoon’s pubs for 18 years. The company began as a butcher’s shop in Edinburgh, in 1953, and opened the world’s first dedicated haggis factory in the city in 1996, since when production has grown from 230 to 1,500 tonnes a year.
It’s now in the control of brother-and-sister team James and Jo, grandchildren of founder Charlie Macsween – and remains a business driven by family values.
“It’s our determination to run a harmonious, ethical and sustainable operation which differentiates us from other manufacturers,” says James.
The Macsween haggis is handmade in small batches, as it always has been, from minced lamb and beef, oats, onion and spices, with no artificial additives.
Ingredients are sourced as locally as possible, to high specifications. Much of the meat originates in Scotland, while the oats have been milled by the same supplier, John Hogarth, for 40 years.
The company publishes its own annual sustainability report and, for more than a decade, has run an environmental programme to reduce waste to landfill and improve energy and water efficiency. In 2013, it achieved its goal of recycling 100% of its waste.
Macsween’s haggis has won hosts of awards over the years, culminating in 2014, when it became the only haggis to win Product of the Year – in the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards.
In June 2015, James and Jo Macsween themselves received the ultimate honour when the same awards honoured them for their outstanding contribution to the Scottish food industry.
Meanwhile, they continue to innovate, creating new products to make the traditional haggis relevant to today.