Salmon producer boosts Scottish suppliers, communities to the tune of GBP 100 million
One of Scotland’s leading producers of farmed salmon, Scottish Sea Farms, spent a company record GBP 100 million (USD 141.1 million, EUR 113.2 million) on goods and services from local businesses last year, many of them small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The figure, which represented 85 percent of the firm’s total supplier spend for 2017, was GBP 13.9 million (USD 19.6 million, EUR 15.7 million) more than in 2016.
Scottish Sea Farms, which operates 46 farm sites, two processing plants and employs 449 people, has a long-standing policy to “buy Scottish” wherever possible. In total, it procured goods and services from 709 local suppliers across the country last year.
“The communities in which we farm are integral to our success, from their natural resources to their local workforces and businesses. It seems only fitting therefore that these same communities should derive maximum value in return; something we are proud to have grown again in 2017 – and will strive to continue growing in 2018 and beyond,” said Jim Gallagher, managing director of Scottish Sea Farms.
The recent Scottish Salmon Farming Economic Report, commissioned by the Scottish Salmon Producer’s Organisation (SSPO), highlighted that the sector now contributes GBP 558 million (USD 787.5 million, EUR 631.7 million) to the national economy in GVA (gross value added) and spends a total of GBP 390 million (USD 550.4 million, EUR 441.5 million) on local suppliers and services.
Scottish Minister for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP, welcomed the figures, saying that they showed the scale of the support that Scottish aquaculture provides for rural businesses, protecting and creating jobs, and supporting communities.
“The support they offer for research and innovation is also invaluable in ensuring the long-term future of the industry,” said Ewing. “I fully support Scottish Sea Farms’ ethos of supporting local suppliers and this is something that I encourage right across our food and drink sector.”
Local supplier Gael Force saw an increase in turnover of close to 45 percent in 2017 and added 50 new jobs. Stewart Graham, managing director of the Inverness company, said almost all of this growth could be attributed to orders from the aquaculture industry.
“It’s the ongoing support of companies such as Scottish Sea Farms that has propelled us on to develop new innovative technologies and services – something we will continue to do in 2018 with a planned GBP 1 million (USD 1.4 million, EUR 1.1 million) investment in increased capacity and the development of new products,” said Graham.
Iain Forbes, director of Fusion Marine, near Oban, which recently received a GBP 1 million order from Scottish Sea Farms for new fish farm pens, added that many other sectors benefit from these investments, including haulage companies, hoteliers and ferry operators.
“Each and every pen we install for Scottish Sea Farms generates business both for the area local to us and the remote communities in which we work. Often, this is for months at a time during winter when revenue from tourism is traditionally lower,” said Forbes.