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SSPO plans capital move as it seeks voice in parliaments

The SSPO is seeking someone who can talk at top level at Holyrood, above, and Westminster. Photo: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament
The SSPO is seeking someone who can talk at top level at Holyrood, above, and Westminster. Photo: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation is stepping up efforts to make the industry’s voice heard by creating a new post of strategic engagement director.

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The SSPO – which represents six of Scotland’s seven salmon growers - is also proposing to move its headquarters from Perth to Edinburgh, home of the Scottish Parliament.

It is also seeking a sustainability director, another newly-created post. Both jobs are advertised as being based in the capital.

According to an advert by recruitment consultants Odgers Berndtson, the strategic engagement director will be expected to:

  • Shape and co-ordinate a three-year engagement strategy and delivery plan that underpins the SSPO’s evolving strategy.
  • Develop and grow relationships at all levels of government(s), with regulators, partner organisations, opinion formers and the media and make a measurable impact on the industry’s reputation in Scotland and beyond.
  • Co-ordinate the organisation’s consultancy, media and communications budget and manage third party consultants, and take overall responsibility for the SSPO website and external facing communications.

The candidate is expected to be a communications professional “comfortable communicating and influencing senior stakeholders up to Government ministerial level in Westminster and Holyrood”.

We are presently based in Perth though are actively seeking Edinburgh premises for our future HQ

SSPO

A brief attached to the advert gives the background to the Scottish salmon industry and the SSPO, and adds: “We are presently based in Perth though are actively seeking Edinburgh premises for our future HQ.”

According to an advert posted by recruitment firm Carlyle on ENDSjobsearch, the sustainability director will lead a small team tasked with driving industry best-practice, primarily regarding continued excellence in fish farming, fish health and other production practices throughout the supply chain.

The successful candidate will also develop and coordinate an industry sustainability strategy that aims to ensure an operating environment which is conducive to industry growth and resilience. This will include playing a role in assessing and helping to minimise the impact of Brexit on the sector.

Data transparency

The sustainability director will drive and co-ordinate the SSPO’s programmes in:

  • Industry best-practice
  • Protecting and enhancing the natural environment and biodiversity
  • Delivery of the 2030 Ambition, 10-year Farmed Fish Health Framework and other industry initiatives
  • Planning, regulatory and compliance matters
  • Data collection, analysis and reporting (and transparency of production and farming practice / data)
  • Supply chain, infrastructure and connectivity
  • Fish farming as a career of choice and the skills needs of the industry
  • Retail, consumer and nutrition matters
  • Identifying and supporting industry research needs

Required experience, skills and qualities include proven experience of operating successfully at senior corporate and institutional level, and confidence communicating and influencing senior stakeholders up to Government ministerial level in Westminster and Holyrood on regulatory, technical and more general issues.

Aquaculture knowledge

The advert says a knowledge of the aquaculture industry would be highly advantageous. Experience with the salmon farming industry / UK food and drink sector and its regulatory environment and supply chain would also be beneficial, but not essential.

SSPO chief executive Julie Hesketh-Laird said: “The organisation is bolstering its capacity and capability to support a growing Scottish salmon farming sector. I am delighted that our members have confidence in a strong future for the sector and its producer organisation. The new roles will be based in Edinburgh close to some of our most important stakeholders.”

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