Investment in salmon farming signals vote of confidence for industry

Investment in salmon farming continues to rise and signals a significant vote of confidence in the long-term sustainability of the sector, according to the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO). Their latest economic report for the salmon farming industry published today (29th November) highlights a 16% increase in capital investment to £63.1M during 2015.

The report also looks at pay, employment, training, local and national economic benefits and exports.

Introducing the findings, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP, said:

“This Government is committed to driving forward the rural economy, building growth across Scotland’s rural and coastal communities, and salmon aquaculture and its service and supply chain has a key role to play. It sustains employment and provides investment, particularly in some of Scotland’s most remote coastal communities, creating new jobs and career opportunities for young people and modern apprenticeships.”

The Highlands and Islands benefit particularly from salmon farming with total gross pay rising by 12% to a total of £71M. More than 90% of this is paid out in rural Scotland, representing significant prosperity for remote communities.

Beyond pay packets, wider economic benefits are evident with more than 2,300 companies in the Highlands and Islands doing business with salmon farming companies. From equipment suppliers to hotels the total expenditure in the Highlands and Islands reached £147M.

The workforce has reshaped towards more full-jobs and fewer seasonal or part time positions indicating long-term employment and career prospects. Companies continue their commitment to training with 91 salmon farming workers involved in Modern Apprenticeships or National Progression Awards.

The results in this report continue to emphasise how important salmon farming is to Scotland’s food industry

While currency issues during the year affected exports, market confidence returned this year and positive export figures for 2016 are anticipated early next year.

Scott Landsburgh, Chief Executive of SSPO, said:

“The last few years have seen an increased confidence in salmon farming based on the quality of our fish, the international recognition of our standards of production and the investment in people, technology and innovation. This is an important boost to local and national economies and I’m delighted that the results in this report continue to emphasise how important salmon farming is to Scotland’s food industry and the wider economy.”

All figures in the report relate to 2015 unless otherwise stated.

Export Statistics Source: UK Business and Trade Statistics