Food for the soul: Claes Jonermark derived satisfaction seeing the first pellets came through the feed mill at Kyleakin in May. Photo: Mowi.

Looking back, thinking ahead: Claes Jonermark

Fish Farming Expert has asked well-known figures in the Scottish salmon farming industry about their high and low points of 2019, and what they hope for in 2020.Today we feature Claes Jonermark, Mowi Scotland’s operations director – feed, who is in charge of the company’s new feed plant at Kyleakin, Skye.

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What was your best moment / occasion of 2019?

The best moment in 2019 was in May, when we got the first pellets through the new feed mill in Kyleakin. It was a great push and effort by the entire team that made it possible to get the site up and running. It is amazing to see when everything comes together – all hours spent in preparations, projects, planning, recruitments and training of a new team - to get a new site come alive. Great fun and really rewarding to see how a team grows together and handles all challenges. Now we are supplying feed to Mowi in Scotland, Ireland, Faroes and partly Norway, but we are also open to customers outside Mowi.

And what was the worst?

It was probably when we got our first complaint from neighbours in Kyleakin, regarding smell from the factory. We have always planned to have as little negative impact as possible to our neighbours and we have always tried to give a positive impact to the local society. Today we have handled it, with a lot of re-engineering and additional investments to the factory. We have also had a couple of open days to meet with everyone living in Kyleakin to explain what we are doing and what further actions we are planning to take in 2020. It has been a very open dialogue and in the end of the day I believe this will strengthen our relations with the local society, but when it all started it wasn’t a good feeling.

What’s the one thing you'd most like to see happen to benefit salmon farming in 2020?

A strong focus on global environment and sustainability should be positive to salmon as a healthy and tasty alternative to other types of farmed animals. If we then can get a public debate based on facts and not guesses, salmon will come out as one of the best alternatives available. With that said, my wish for 2020 must be that a wider group among politicians and media should focus more on pure facts and less on wild guesses. Visit our farms and feed mills – find out how it really is. 

Tomorrow: Anne Anderson, sustainability director for the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO).