Salmon firm closure threat leaves 250 jobs at risk

By Noli Dinkovski contact

- Last updated on GMT

ESCo is a manufacturer and distributor of Scottish smoked salmon
ESCo is a manufacturer and distributor of Scottish smoked salmon
More than 250 jobs are under threat at a Scottish smoked salmon manufacturer after the parent company announced its proposed sale or closure.

Staff at The Edinburgh Salmon Company (known as ESCo) face the axe following the announcement by Européenne de la Mer, a subsidiary of Thai Union Group.

Based in Dingwall, ESCo employs 163 staff and 80 to 100 agency workers, depending on the season.

Despite an ongoing review of the business, plus investment and structural changes, ESCo continued to suffer heavy losses as a result of “highly challenging market conditions and industry trends”​, Européenne de la Mer said.

Pret a Manger contract loss

ESCo is understood to have lost a large contract with Pret a Manger last year. The company made a £5.2m loss for the year ended 31 December 2017, according to its latest set of accounts.

Européenne de la Mer said it would actively pursue and explore all viable divestment opportunities in an attempt to “avoid, reduce, and/or mitigate the potential impacts upon its valued employees”​.

Following yesterday’s (27 September) announcement, Européenne de la Mer started the process of appointing elected workplace representatives. Once in place, it will begin a 45-day period of collective consultation to further consider the proposal and alternatives to it.

“If, we are unable to find a viable alternative to the proposed closure we will then carry out individual consultations with at risk employees,”​ a spokesman for Européenne de la Mer said.

‘Employees are our primary consideration’

“Our employees are our primary consideration. They were informed of the situation yesterday morning. We would like to thank our employees at ESCo and across our wider business for their support, commitment and professionalism at this difficult time.”

Customers and suppliers were in the process of being informed about the proposal, along with community leaders and government representatives, the spokesman said.

“ESCo has many long-standing and valued customer and supplier relationships and we are committed to working closely with each of them to successfully deliver on our existing arrangements and also to help them to smoothly transition, if need be, to alternative supply arrangements going forward,”​ he added.

Earlier this year, Young's Seafood confirmed the closure of its Pinneys plant in Annan​, with the loss of around 450 jobs.

Related topics: Meat, poultry & seafood

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