What was your best moment / occasion of 2018?
Having continued to invest in Native Hebridean Salmon in 2018 with the development of our Langass Family Breeding Unit in North Uist, our unique strain of salmon was named Food Service Product of the Year at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2018 – a great achievement. Native Hebridean Salmon is a truly unique native strain of Scottish Salmon, descended from stock sourced from the freshwater lochs of North Uist and reared exclusively in the Hebrides by The Scottish Salmon Company.
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 over 60%. 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.
We are committed to responsible farming practices 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. The world’s most comprehensive third-party aquaculture certification programme, BAP is administered by the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and is compliant with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP) and Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).
And what was the worst?
It’s a dynamic industry with lots of change, the last 12 months has been a busy and rewarding period.
What's the one thing you'd most like to see happen to benefit salmon farming 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 and 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, along with 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 sustainable growth in the aquaculture sector.