Scottish seafood processor goes bust

Published on
February 20, 2020

Prime Seafoods, which has factories in Peterhead and Fraserburgh in Scotland, has closed its doors, putting almost 70 people out of work.

According to local reports, the processing company and online supplier, which had been trading since 1980, informed its staff this week that it had been struggling on a financial level, with unsustainable overheads and a lack of fish.

The business has since confirmed that it has ceased operating, but has not yet provided details about the closure’s impact on its workforce.

According to the last published accounts for the firm, for the year through to the end of May 2018, Prime Seafoods had a turnover of GBP 28 million (USD 36.2 million, EUR 33.5 million) and suffered pre-tax losses of GBP 236,000 (USD 305,228, EUR 282,676).

Recent bad weather has been blamed for having a negative effect on the fish processing industry.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Seafood Association (SSA) and the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) have together called for urgent discussions with U.K. government ministers amid concerns about the impact of post-Brexit immigration plans on the processing sector.

The two trade bodies have highlighted the dependence on overseas labor and the importance of ensuring that businesses are able to be fully staffed to deal with the growth in seafood volumes from January 2021.

“These immigration plans have the potential to severely restrict the economic boost that will flow from the UK’s exit from the Common Fisheries Policy. At the point of expansion, we need ministers to allow scope for recruitment of skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled labor as they are all vital to the viability of the sector,” SSA Chief Executive Jimmy Buchan said.

SSPO Chief Executive Julie Hesketh-Laird voiced concerns that the proposals, as drafted, could hinder the production and processing of Scottish salmon.

“We are seeking urgent meetings with U.K. government ministers to find ways of making these plans work better for our sector,” she said.

Prime Seafoods, which has factories in Peterhead and Fraserburgh in Scotland, has closed its doors, putting almost 70 people out of work.

According to local reports, the processing company and online supplier, which had been trading since 1980, informed its staff this week that it had been struggling on a financial level, with unsustainable overheads and a lack of fish.

The business has since confirmed that it has ceased operating, but has not yet provided details about the closure’s impact on its workforce.

According to the last published accounts for the firm, for the year through to the end of May 2018, Prime Seafoods had a turnover of GBP 28 million (USD 36.2 million, EUR 33.5 million) and suffered pre-tax losses of GBP 236,000 (USD 305,228, EUR 282,676).

Recent bad weather has been blamed for having a negative effect on the fish processing industry.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Seafood Association (SSA) and the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) have together called for urgent discussions with U.K. government ministers amid concerns about the impact of post-Brexit immigration plans on the processing sector.

The two trade bodies have highlighted the dependence on overseas labor and the importance of ensuring that businesses are able to be fully staffed to deal with the growth in seafood volumes from January 2021.

“These immigration plans have the potential to severely restrict the economic boost that will flow from the UK’s exit from the Common Fisheries Policy. At the point of expansion, we need ministers to allow scope for recruitment of skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled labor as they are all vital to the viability of the sector,” SSA Chief Executive Jimmy Buchan said.

SSPO Chief Executive Julie Hesketh-Laird voiced concerns that the proposals, as drafted, could hinder the production and processing of Scottish salmon.

“We are seeking urgent meetings with U.K. government ministers to find ways of making these plans work better for our sector,” she said.

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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