Hiring, cutting red tape and housing: Salmon Scotland’s election priorities

Salmon Scotland CEO with 2024 election manifesto

Easing restrictions on cross-border hiring, streamlining Brexit red tape and tackling Scotland’s rural housing crisis – these are among the key priorities in an election manifesto from trade body Salmon Scotland.

With the UK general election coming up on 4 July, the Salmon Scotland manifesto has been shared with  manifesto has been shared all the main political parties in advance of their own manifesto publications.

Salmon Scotland represents producers, suppliers and the industry’s supply chain generally. The organisation said: “Whichever party wins, salmon farmers want to see a more enlightened approach to the movement of labour into the UK, which recognises the unique challenges that coastal and rural farming communities face.

“This includes a change to key worker definitions and a broader public signal that the UK is open to people coming here to work.”

Salmon Scotland also wants to see an improvement in the UK’s relationship with the European Union, with a clear focus on export businesses and less red tape for the supply chains on both sides of the English channel.

Salmon Scotland is urging the next UK government to implement electronic export health certificates (EHCs) to remove the unnecessary paperwork associated with exporting seafood and animal products to Europe. This, it is estimated, is costing salmon farmers an estimated £3m every year since Brexit.

The manifesto also says: “We need the UK and EU to create a bespoke and mutually convenient Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) agreement to return efficiencies to supply chains on both sides of the Short Straits [the Channel, between England and France] to help domestic and European consumers and businesses.”


The manifesto also calls on the Scottish and UK governments to work together to address Scotland’s housing emergency, to ensure that people can live close to where they work – particularly in rural and coastal communities where there is a shortage of available, affordable accommodation.

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said: “The Scottish salmon sector is a global success story. By growing salmon we’re growing Scotland, employing thousands of people in Scotland and generating vital wealth for our country in the form of well-paid jobs in our coastal communities and millions in taxes to fund public services.

“With the election campaign well underway, we want all parties to get behind the country’s top food export – Scottish salmon – and deliver the policies to help us grow responsibly. The policy recommendations we outline in our manifesto do just that.

“We need the next UK government to work more closely with the Edinburgh administration so that we can deliver the true potential of the blue economy and help us to farm-raise more low carbon protein and keep Scotland and our world-renowned Scottish salmon on the global map.”

Salmon farming directly employs more than 2,500 people in economically fragile, coastal communities in rural Scotland, with a further 10,000 Scottish jobs dependent on the sector.

Figures from Salmon Scotland show a direct economic contribution of £303m in Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2021, up nearly a fifth on pre-pandemic levels of £254m in 2019. Through the wider supply chain and employment, the combined GVA total was £766 million.


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