Aquaculture Supply Chain Summit aims high

Representatives from Scotland’s aquaculture sector, including the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) gathered this week in Edinburgh for a Supply Chain summit, aimed at exploring how to accelerate growth in the sector.

The event saw around 90 delegates from producers, supply chain businesses and public agencies discuss growth opportunities and how best to overcome current constraints.

Organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), in conjunction with the Scottish Government, Marine Scotland and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), achieving commercial collaboration while safeguarding competitive advantage informed much of the debate.

Linking to the Aquaculture 2030 strategy and the Farmed Fish Health Framework the agenda also explored developing production and supply chain excellence to support increased exports and innovation.

Attending the event Rural Economy minister Fergus Ewing MSP said: “The continuing uncertainty around Brexit means that it’s more important than ever for those involved in the aquaculture supply chain to use opportunities like this to meet and share concerns, and agree on how we can work together to protect and enhance this important sector.

“I’m certain that by working collaboratively, we can continue to ensure a sustainable future for aquaculture in Scotland.”

Recent research suggests that more than 12,000 jobs across Scotland rely on the aquaculture sector. David Oxley, Director of Business and Sector Development at HIE said: Scotland’s geography, and specifically that of the Highlands and Islands, creates a natural advantage for aquaculture production.

“The industry provides good quality employment opportunities in some of our most rural communities and makes a range of wider impacts in areas where business activities are located.”