Jamie Young, group sales director of Gael Force Group, which now employs more than 260 people. Photo: Gael Force Group.

Looking back, thinking ahead: Jamie Young

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 Jamie Young, group sales director for Inverness-based aquaculture supplier Gael Force Group.

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What was your best moment / occasion of 2019?

We have had numerous high points this year – 2019 has been remarkable in many ways, particularly for new product launches including two newly-designed feed barges which were manufactured then launched in the latter part of this year. 

However, if I had to pick one occasion, our time at Aqua Nor was hugely momentous for us. We successfully launched our SeaQurePen in Trondheim and it was amazing to see such a huge number of stakeholders from across Scottish and global aquaculture descend on our exhibition stand to celebrate that occasion with us. It emphasised to us how appreciative and honoured we are to be among an enormously supportive collection of people in the industry we serve.

And what was the worst?

The rate of growth and demand for our products this year has been phenomenal. With that we have experienced pressure and pushed close to, not beyond, our limits, but we have responded positively by increasing our capacity for production and delivery. We are now operating a new pen building facility in Kishorn to better serve our customers and have increased the number of delivery van runs we make to the West of Scotland. We have also significantly increased our staffing with over 260 employees and many roles directly dedicated to supporting our customers in aquaculture.

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

Yet another year has passed without seeing the step growth the industry is so desperately wanting. All the farmers and growers work so hard to deliver a phenomenal product to market and an amazing economic benefit to Scotland and its rural communities. But there is more to be had, and I, like so many others, would love to see a joined up and aligned approach to allow the industry to expand and progress, delivering results that the economy, producers and suppliers will all gain from.

Tomorrow: Heather Jones, chief executive of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre.