Struggling Orkney Fishermen’s Society sold out of administration, saving 55 jobs

A man processing lobsters at the Orkney Fishermen's Society

Orkney Fishermen’s Society has been sold out of administration to Orkney Crab Ltd., saving the jobs of all 55 staff at the company.

Orkney Fishermen’s Society, founded in 1953, is a supplier of crabs, lobster, and other fresh seafood based in Stromness, Scotland. The company, according to a release, was created as a co-operative society by local fishermen to process and market their products to local mainland Scotland customers.

Since its founding, the company has grown into a processor of crab for U.K. retail and international markets. It also trades lobsters and whelks and has a fish shop on site for local customers. 

The company was sent into administration by a set of compounding issues. Recruitment issues arising from Brexit – which has also challenged other Scottish seafood companies – and an acute shortage of crab in 2018 due to adverse weather started the negative trends. Then, the Covid-19 pandemic added to the company’s woes, and high prices for crab only put the company further behind.

“Efforts by the directors to restructure the business and secure additional funding proved unsuccessful and the company was placed in administration,” a release from a PR agency about the sale states.

Now, Orkney Crab acquired the business and assets of the Orkney Fishermen’s Society and plans to continue operating the business from the premises.  

 “Orkney Fishermen’s Society has an outstanding reputation for the quality of seafood harvested and processed by its fishermen and staff. We are delighted to have secured the future of one of the UK’s leading seafood businesses,” Paul Knight, of Oban, Scotland-based PDK Shellfish, said of the sale. “It will be a case of ‘business as usual’ and we also have plans to invest in the company and the products and provide services to local fishermen as we look to re-establish the business.”

Photo courtesy of Orkney Fishermen's Society  


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