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Outlook 2019: Craig Anderson, CEO of The Scottish Salmon Company

Investment in infrastructure and site development remains a priority for the company in 2019 as well as developing its 'clan' of brands.

Company profile: The Scottish Salmon Company

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The Scottish Salmon Company has been focused on growing its exports over the past year, and intends to continue this strategy in the new year with further investments in infrastructure and development of its brands, The Scottish Salmon Company CEO Craig Anderson tells IntraFish.

What were the three most significant developments for your business in the seafood industry in 2018?

  • For our business to continue to grow it is pivotal to focus on innovation and the provenance of our products. This year we have continued to invest in Native Hebridean Salmon, a truly unique native strain of Scottish salmon, by developing our Langass Family Breeding Unit in North Uist the Hebrides. Descended from stock sourced from the freshwater lochs of North Uist and reared exclusively in the Hebrides, Native Hebridean was named Food Service Product of the Year at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2018 – a great achievement.
  • Growing exports is a core part of our business strategy and we have seen sales increase year-on-year thanks to continued demand for Scottish provenance, with exports now accounting for more than 60 percent. We have captured a greater market share in North America and the Far East, supported by the launch of our new premium export brand Lochlander Salmon, as well as strong growth in our flagship Tartan Salmon Label Rouge and Native Hebridean Salmon. A focus on developing new markets as well as strengthening relationships with existing customers has proved successful.
  • We are committed to sustainability, and this year we became the first salmon producer in the UK to be awarded 2-star Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP) certification for all our marine and processing sites, demonstrating our commitment to environmental stewardship. Securing two BAP certifications in six months is a notable achievement, acknowledging the expertise of our people while also reinforcing our exacting standards in producing the best quality Scottish salmon.

Looking ahead, what will be the three most important seafood industry developments in 2019?

  • The reputation of Scotland’s food and drink offering, provenance and traceability will continue to drive the export market. The strength of Scottish provenance in the global marketplace provides us with extensive opportunities to promote our brands. We are focused on driving exports to key markets where salmon consumption is still growing, such as North America and the Far East.
  • Innovation was one of a number of key themes in the Scottish Government Aquaculture 2030 strategic growth plan and the Ambition 2030 strategy including industry leadership and ambition, enabling and proportionate regulation, skills development, finance and infrastructure. We will continue to work collaboratively with the wider industry and legislative bodies to meet the Scottish Government’s ambitions for growth in the aquaculture sector.

What changes and developments do you expect your business to undergo next year?

  • The strong results over the course of the year meant we were able to increase our annual tonnage target from 28,000 metric tons to 29,500 metric tons, driving further revenue. We have positive financial outlook for 2019 and forecast continued responsible growth.
  • Investment in infrastructure and site development remains a priority for us in 2019, ensuring our supply chain is operating as efficiently and sustainably as possible while protecting the waters in which we operate. We have made a number of investments in our freshwater operations including the purchase of a new hatchery and progressing plans for a center of excellence in freshwater production.
  • Scottish provenance is fundamental to our business. We will be further developing our clan of brands to meet growing consumer demand. We are planning to further support export growth with the launch of new Tartan Salmon Label Rouge vac packs among other developments.

Want more insight? Follow along with our Outlook 2019 series here.

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