UK bait maker to introduce organic products
Article Media Click images to enlarge +
Isla Baits, a new manufacturer based on the Isle of Arran off Scotland’s west coast, is specialising in organic products made only from natural ingredients.
Founder of the business is Craig Wood, formerly Group Marketing & Sales Manager for the Rapala & Shimano joint venture in the UK and more recently Outdoors Business Manager at Flambeau.
Wood has been working on the project for two years and didn’t anticipate an official launch until later in 2015. However, the company’s rapid development and the extra demands on his time led to his unexpected departure from Flambeau some eight months after his appointment.
“Flambeau were always aware of my bait business on the side which used to take up all my weekends and evenings, but things have progressed more quickly than I thought they would,” he told Angling International. “I couldn’t carry on with the workload and it was only fair to Flambeau that I moved on to concentrate on my own business.”
Wood’s newly-built facility is on the banks of a carp lake he has created on a 28-acre site in Arran, an island of some 160 square miles in the Firth of Clyde. The first delivery of fish for the eight-acre fishery is expected any day now.
The company’s sponsored anglers have shot footage of the bait being used in France, which is ready to upload to www.islabaits.com. The Isla Bait field testers have enjoyed great success with the baits and have been featured in consumer newspaper, Angling Times, and on the Sky Sports Tight Lines show. A Facebook page was also set up last weekend (www.facebook.com/islabaitsofficial).
Although Wood is entering a market congested with bait suppliers large and small, he believes his unique proposition is already establishing its own niche.
“Pretty much all baits in the market use the same model when it comes to ingredients, with lots of additives, colour enhancements and similar flavours,” said the former chemical engineer. “I have some knowledge of the bait market from my previous jobs, so I know what goes into these products.
“I wouldn’t have done this if it meant replicating what everyone else is doing. I use real pulverised salmon, shrimp, mussel and bloodworm. Even the eggs are free range. The only ingredient I import is krill & tiger nut.
“Building the business in the UK is the first objective and an encouraging number of shops are placing orders for launch. Export sales are only just starting, but I see them as an important part of the strategy. All interested parties are welcome to contact me.”
Wood has invested in new machinery and, while some of it is not yet up and running, he is confident that the factory will initially run comfortably at two tons a week when everything is online. This is mainly due to the live organic ingredients used and obtaining the organic material at a pace to keep up with demand.
He plans to recruit further staff as capacity builds, ensuring that he has the time to focus on product development. Looking ahead, he also plans to design and produce carp terminal tackle under the Isla brand.