Council leader welcomes launch of salmon farming community charter

Cllr. Dick Walsh, Leader of Argyll & Bute Council, has welcomed the launch of a Community Engagement Charter for the Scottish salmon farming industry. It formalises how companies invest and engage with the local communities where salmon farms are located.

He joined Chief Executive of Argyll & Bute Council, Cleland Sneddon, Head of Marine and Coastal Policy, Mark Steward and Anne MacColl, chair of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) at a salmon farm at Quarry Point to learn more about it.

Anne McColl said: “As an industry we have always been engaged with local communities in many ways. The time is right to make a public commitment to maintaining this support and enhancing it. Hopefully as we grow the value of the industry in Argyll & Bute, communities can feel a part of that.

“It’s a joint effort between industry and communities to grow the local economy. We want to share some of the rewards with them, and I think it is very important that we are enthusiastic about collaboration. That’s what this charter is all about – it’s about formalising what we do.”

We have always engaged with local communities. The time is right to make a public commitment to maintaining and enhancing this support

Cllr. Dick Walsh said: “The salmon farming industry has a growing importance to the Argyll and Bute economy providing employment and careers for an increasing number of people. Salmon products from Scotland and, in particular from Argyll and Bute, have a justified global reputation for quality and enhance the reputation of our food and drink brands. It is important that the industry continues to work with communities to build on this success in a sustainable way. I welcome the adoption of the Community Engagement Charter and the commitment of our salmon producers to put communities at the heart of their operations.”

The Scottish Salmon Company which employs 184 people at its 19 marine sites, processing plant and offices across Argyll & Bute hosted the visit.

Craig Anderson, Managing Director, The Scottish Salmon Company, said, “We are delighted to launch the industry Community Engagement Charter here. The Scottish Salmon Company is committed to the local communities in which we live and work, from providing long-term employment in rural areas, to using local suppliers where possible and providing sponsorship for sports and cultural events, such as the Cowal Highland Gathering.”

The salmon farming sector in Argyll and Bute also includes Marine Harvest, Scottish Sea Farms, Cooke Aquaculture and Hendrix Genetics and employs 439 people.