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24 February 2017

  |  CBI Scotland

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The Scottish Salmon Company:  Making Waves in the Food & Drink Industry

A dram of the finest Scotch Whisky was considered to be the ultimate export from Scotland’s shores but now premium Scottish salmon is snapping at its heels.

Image of The Scottish Salmon Company:  Making Waves in the Food & Drink Industry

The Scottish food and drink industry is on a high right now, generating an annual turnover of £14.4bn and being lauded the world over as a prime example of the power of innovation, collaboration and quality. The Scottish Salmon Company has a clear and focused ambition to play a leading role in its success.

Scottish salmon is already a major contributor to both the food and drink sector and the Scottish economy.

Exports surpassed the £500 million threshold for the first time in 2015, making it Scotland’s biggest, and the UK’s second biggest, food export. It direct supports over 2,200 jobs - almost 8% of the food and drink workforce in Scotland.

Only a few months ago the Scottish Government and Scotland Food & Drink revealed Aquaculture Growth to 2030, a strategy which road mapped the way to unlocking the enormous economic potential of fish and seafood products. 

As the leading Scottish-based producer Scottish salmon, The Scottish Salmon Company is at the heart of the industry. Headquartered in Edinburgh, the business has over 60 sites in remote and rural areas on the west coast of Scotland and the Hebrides.

Employing 480 people, the Company produces around 25,000 tonnes of premium Scottish salmon annually.

Despite being a relatively young business, The Scottish Salmon Company has developed a globally recognised brand and an international customer base.

It is intent on further building on this success through the implementation of an ambitious long-term strategy for sustainable growth based on its core values of pride, passion and provenance.

Provenance underpins the business. Consumers across the globe are increasingly aware of where their food comes from; traceability and quality go hand in hand and having Scotland as its country of origin is considered by many as the marque of a superior product.

Exporting to 25 countries across the world, from the US to the Far East, the Company uses Scottish salmon’s PGI status as a point of difference.

It gained Label Rouge accreditation in 2014 and has developed this range into its flagship export offering. Label Rouge is a stringent food quality assurance scheme administered by the French authorities which recognises superior products. 

In 1992, Scottish salmon was the first fish and the first non-French product to be awarded the accolade. To have such a ringing endorsement from the world’s other food nation is a priceless opportunity for Scotland.

The Scottish Salmon Company is going beyond the ‘macro-provenance’ of Scotland to the concept of ‘micro-provenance’ with its innovative broodstock programme.

It has invested heavily in the development of a unique, fully traceable strain of Native Hebridean Salmon. A world first, the stock is descended from wild salmon from the cold river waters on North Uist and born, bred and raised in the Hebrides.

Native Hebridean Salmon has been received exceptionally well since its introduction to the international market last year. It was shortlisted in the Seafood Excellent Global Awards and The Federation of Chefs of Scotland has given its stamp of approval.

The Scottish Salmon Company has committed to long term investment in the programme, growing year round production and expanding the product range. 

This innovative project has been in development for several years enabling the Company to secure the employment of specialist expertise in the area and ongoing investment in its hatchery.

Not only is Native Hebridean ensuring sustainable supply chain security and full traceability in response to consumer demand, it is also creating and retaining value in the local community in which it is produced.

Therein lies the true worth of provenance – not just a marketing tool or a label on a product but a way to drive economic growth, job creation and value in Scotland.

The Scottish Salmon Company is an example of a business that has harnessed the power of provenance to position itself on the global stage, create a thriving export business and deliver on its responsibility to the often fragile rural communities in which it operates.

Find out more at www.scottishsalmon.com   

Authored by Craig Anderson, Managing Director, Scottish Salmon Company

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