Salmon Company Shows Its Commitment to Shetland Community

by Raymond Notarangelo

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

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

The company, which employs 91 people across 18 marine production sites around the islands, ploughed more than £12m into the local economy in 2012 – with in excess of £2m being paid in salaries.

In addition to providing a direct economic impact, Meridian Salmon Group has been consistently involved in a number of local initiatives throughout its 30 years of operating on the islands including youth sport teams and tournaments, Shetland Lifeboat and various local charities.

Willie Young, Business Support & Primary Processing Director of Meridian Salmon Group, said: “We have long standing operations in Shetland going back over 30 years during which time we’ve formed strong relationships with the community and local businesses.

“For example, our workforce has grown year on year, more than 12 in the past 05 years from 79 in 2007 to 91 in 2013.  We know we have a superb team on Shetland who are determined to continue to work hard to produce top quality salmon.

“We want to maintain and strengthen these relations as salmon farming continues to develop positively in Scotland with Scottish farmed salmon and salmon products being internationally recognised as the premium product of their class.

“This has 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 sector, 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 ongoing development of the industry is to the small, fragile, rural communities whose entire livelihoods are often 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 Shetland.”

The company’s Shetland marine sites produced more than 11,000 tonnes of own grown salmon in 2012.

According to the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation’s 2012 Industry Research Report, direct employment across Scotland 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.

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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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