Scottish Sea Farms embraces public visits as means of consumer education

Published on
September 12, 2022
A group of visitors to Scottish Sea Farms pose for a photo aboard a boat.

As part of its drive to increase public awareness and understanding of the salmon-farming sector, Scottish Sea Farms has welcomed a record number of visitors to its locations this year.

Between January and September 2022, the company hosted 270 visitors across the farming estate, including the freshwater hatchery in Barcaldine, marine farms, and processing facilities. 

The producer said that in many instances, individuals and organizations approached the company directly. Others were introduced by sector trade body Salmon Scotland. 

Combined, there have been 33 scheduled visits, spanning a diverse range of backgrounds, from customers, regulators, politicians, and environmental groups, to students, suppliers, press, and members of the public. 

“The beauty of people coming out to the farm is that they get to see what we do and speak to the team in person,” Scottish Sea Farms Scallastle Farm Manager Michael Keenan said. “No question is off limits. In fact, we encourage open, honest, constructive discussion.”

The company has been hosting visits for years but, more recently, there has been a conscious decision to invite as many interested parties as possible to show first-hand the workings of what is a relatively young sector, Keenan said.

Providing visitors with an authentic experience is crucial, Scottish Sea Farms Head of Processing Donald Buchanan said.

“We don’t do anything differently on the day of a visit, other than take time out of our normal day to show guests around. When your facilities and farms run as they should do every day, there’s no need,” Buchanan said. “So perhaps the most-satisfying part for us is seeing how impressed people are by the level of technology, skill, and care that goes into our work. It’s further affirmation that we are doing the right thing as a business.”

Scottish Sea Farms said it expects visitor numbers to grow further next year, with tours being extended to include more farms in the Northern Isles.  

Photo courtesy of Scottish Sea Farms

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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