Orkney salmon firm nets Marks and Spencer’s top farming accolade

Published on
June 22, 2018

British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) handed Scottish Sea Farms’ team at Wyre, Orkney, its Outstanding Producer of the Year at its Farming for the Future Awards 2018.

The 1,909-metric ton (MT) capacity farm was established by Scottish Sea Farms in 2015 to help meet the growing demand for responsibly farmed salmon, including the branded M&S Lochmuir salmon.

It differs from many farms in that as well as rearing its own salmon from smolt to adulthood, it also acts as a nursery for young salmon headed to the neighboring Eday production site, where conditions are more tidal. Only once the salmon are large enough to thrive in the strong tidal flow are they transferred to the Eday location.

Judges were equally impressed by the farm’s predator-resistant containment system, which has reduced the number of seal attacks, the deployment of new easy-clean nets, and its investment in team training and development.

“Both farm teams – Wyre and Eday – are proud of the results achieved and rightly so, as both have worked hand-in-hand to create the best environments in which to rear our salmon. We have a really great mix of people, some of whom are locals while others have moved into the area bringing new skills and knowledge,” Wyre farm manager Phil Boardman said.

The awards presentation took place on the first day of the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston in Edinburgh from 21 to 24 June. 

Scottish Sea Farms’ Orkney Regional Manager Richard Darbyshire accepted the award on behalf of the Wyre team.

“Scottish Sea Farms sets itself exacting standards and the results show in the quality of our product," Wyre said. "M&S have actively encouraged these high standards since day one, however to have them recognized with a Farming for the Future Award provides added motivation to keep seeking new and better ways of doing things.”

The Outstanding Producer accolade is the latest in a series of M&S Farming for the Future Award wins for Scottish Sea Farms with previous successes including Innovation, Young Producer, Rural Communities, Global Champion of Champions, and Plan A in Action.

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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