Scottish salmon firm invests £40M to create 100 jobs

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Middle east, Salmon, Investment

The Scottish Salmon Company aims to open 10 new fish farms
The Scottish Salmon Company aims to open 10 new fish farms
Rising demand in the Middle East and Russia is prompting the Scottish Salmon Company to invest £40M in 10 new fish farms that will create 100 extra jobs within five years.

The investment will boost the firm’s production from 24,000t to 40,000t a year, a spokeswoman told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

In addition to boosting production, the investment will help to improve the continuity of salmon supply throughout the year, she added.

Stewart McLelland, chief executive of The Scottish Salmon Company, said: “The Scottish Salmon Company produces premium, fresh Scottish salmon with strong and growing demand in the marketplace.

Skills and experience

“People are key to our vision for expansion. We are keen to bring talent into our business, developing skills​, and experience to support our growth plans and that of the overall industry.”

About half the new jobs will be created in the Western Isles, with the others in the company’s operational areas throughout the Highlands and Argyll and Bute.

“We are committed to the communities and economies in which we work and understand the real benefit that developing business and providing employment has in these rural locations, ”​ said McLelland.

The firm plans to expand existing sites and launch new ones. It is currently lodging planning applications for new fish farming sites.

Each new site requires an investment of between £1.5M and £2M, said the spokeswoman. All sites will be developed to the RSPCA’s ‘Freedom Food’ standard which dictates farming practices such as the stocking density, fish welfare and harvest.

Upgrading existing sites

During the past two years, the firm has more than doubled staff numbers from 160 to 380. It has also invested £30M on developments such as: refurbishing its Marybank processing facility, acquiring West Minch Salmon, developing new sites and upgrading existing sites.

The firm now operates from more than 50 sites and in 2010 it recorded an annual turnover of £92.4M.

Meanwhile, Scottish food and drink exports rose by 29% to £2.4bn last year, according to figures from the Scottish government.

During the first half of last year, exports of smoked salmon to the Middle East rose by 48% to £2.5M.

Ewen Cameron, international senior manager for food and drink at trade development body Scottish Development International, said: “The Middle East offers huge potential for Scottish companies. It remains a core market for Scottish salmon, seafood, beverages and grocery products – targeting both the high-end retail and food service sectors.”

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