Salmon Company Shows Its Commitment to Argyll and Bute

by Raymond Notarangelo

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Meridian logo for web newsMeridian Salmon Group has underlined its commitment to Argyll and Bute by revealing for the first time the far reaching economic and employment benefits it brings to the region.

The company, which employs 55 people across eight marine production sites, five freshwater sites and two broodstock sites, contributes around £4.1m annually to the local economy – with 1.4m being paid in salaries each year and £2.7m going to local suppliers and support companies.

In addition, Meridian Salmon Group has invested more than £3 million in an innovative new water recirculation system at its hatchery in Furnace, which will become one of the most advanced in Europe, further endorsing its vision to make Argyll and Bute one of Scotland’s top areas for high quality farmed salmon.

Mark Warrington, Managing Director of Meridian Salmon Group, said: “We are very much committed to a strong and prosperous future in Argyll and Bute

“Salmon farming is continuing to develop positively in Scotland. Scottish farmed salmon and salmon products are internationally recognised as the premium product of their class.

“That’s allowed companies like Meridian Salmon Group to help the sector to grow significantly. More than 2100 people – and thousands more in the salmon supply chain – are now employed in the salmon farming industry, which is now Scotland’s biggest food exporter and worth £1.4bn to the Scottish economy in the last four years.

“But invariably the wider national benefits overlook how important the industry is to the small, fragile, rural communities whose entire livelihoods are dependent on its success – an issue which is too often not fully appreciated.

“That’s why we are were keen to carry out this local economic impact report – and why I hope these results will be of crucial interest and importance to everyone with a concern about Argyll and Bute.

“We hope that the region continues to embrace our industry and recognises it as a key sector which will continue to support the economic fortunes of Argyll and Bute in the future.

“An example of an area which has really benefited from our presence is Carradale, which in recent years has experienced higher levels of unemployment with many young people having to move away from the area to find work.

“Our Carradale farm site has helped to stem some of this decline and is now a significant economic contributor to Carradale and the wider Kintyre area.”

The company’s marine sites, will have harvested 8000 tonnes of own grown salmon by the end of 2012.

According to the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation’s 2012 Industry Research Report, direct employment has risen from 321 in 2008 to 489; 67 new jobs were created in the last year (up 17%); and during the last five years £41.3m local wage payments have generated more than £189m of economic benefits as money earned locally is spent locally.

Meridian Salmon Group is one of the top five salmon farming companies in Scotland, employing 350 people particularly in small communities in Argyll and Bute, the West Coast, Shetland and Orkney. It operates at 61 sea sites and 19 freshwater sites across Scotland and Cumbria.

The company is unique in that it operates a combined integration processes involving salmon breeding, hatchery, farming and processing, which gives the company total control over every stage of the production cycle, resulting in fish of consistently high quality.

It is committed to best practice in its entire farming and aquaculture operations and in protecting the natural environment and eco-systems in which they operate, ensuring all its facilities operate to the highest quality and food safety standards.

Meridian Salmon Group is also developing a state-of-the-art processing plant in Rosyth, Fife, which will become the biggest salmon processing plant in the UK, representing a major investment in the UK by Morpol, the company’s Polish owners.

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Raymond Notarangelo

Raymond Notarangelo, co-founded Scottish PR agency, Holyrood Partnership after spotting a gap for colourful and innovative public relations in Edinburgh. He now leads a team providing media relations, social media, video, photography, brand newsrooms, crisis communication and media relations.

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