The Scottish salmon sector already makes an extraordinary contribution to the country’s economy.
In 2022, Scottish salmon is celebrating 30 years of holding the prestigious Label Rouge quality mark in France, which delivers a massive economic boost for Scotland. Scottish salmon was the first fish and first non-French product to be awards the quality mark in 1992, which recognises the superior quality of a food or farmed product, particularly with regard to taste.
To obtain Label Rouge status, a very strict set of standards must be met throughout the entire production chain including farming techniques, feed, processing, and distribution.
The farmed salmon sector contributes over £640 million to the Scottish economy every year and provides direct employment for over 2,500 people in Scotland that’s according to findings from Salmon Scotland’s economic quarterly report.
International Women’s Day is a global celebration of women’s achievements and has become a focal point in the movement for equal rights.
It is an opportunity to reflect on the huge progress women have made, while also acknowledging the challenges that remain.
Across Scotland, more and more women are entering top jobs in traditionally male-dominated sectors.
Lindsay Pollock was appointed Salmon Scotland’s Head of Sustainability six months ago, and now plays a key role in driving the sector forward.
As every economist knows, there are three types of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. But that view is not confined to economists. It is now shared by many in the Scottish salmon sector, thanks to an extraordinary episode over export figures.
If truth is the first casualty of war then it’s undoubtedly the case that impartiality takes a fair few body blows too - and not just during war.
Just consider what has happened throughout this pandemic.
As everyone who farms salmon knows, its impossible to get a feel for what really goes on out at sea unless you’ve been there and seen it.
This is doubly true for those who report on our sector.
One of the most important tools that we have in trying to secure balanced coverage is to get journalists out to the farms to see for themselves.
We thought we knew what it would look like. The queues of trucks would stretch back from Dover through the Kent countryside, massive lorry parks would be full and there would be scuffles between angry hauliers and the police.
We did see these things but only before Christmas, after the French shut the border claiming that Covid had forced them to take action.
Tavish Scott is to take up the role of Co-Chair of the Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group (AILG). The Group was established by the sector and is supported by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism Fergus Ewing and brings together industry stakeholders including Government, regulators, aquaculture producers and its value chain.
Mr Scott, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO), will take up the role at the next meeting of the AILG, in the Spring.
“1349 was even worse, of course, so we have that to be grateful for.” That was the message in a card from one friend at Christmas time.
An exaggeration perhaps but, given what everyone has gone through in 2020, perhaps only a slight one.
We haven’t had the full 2020 export figures for Scottish salmon yet but we know they are down, significantly, on the year before.
Our members have exported less at lower prices than they wanted. They have had to change working practices, introduce new measures and add extra layers of precautions to protect their workers.
In any normal year, this sort of annual roundup would be fairly routine: there would be successes and challenges to discuss, innovations and new markets to champion and performance to assess.
But not this year. This past year has been so unusual, so unexpected and so challenging that we will be talking about it and analysing the fallout for many decades to come.
It has tested our member companies in so many ways: from the sudden imposition to new work patterns to the virtual collapse of previously solid foreign markets,