Official Conclusion to Salmon Farm Rent Agreement –

Official Conclusion to Salmon Farm Rent Agreement Fish Farming Today Published:  12 November, 2002

A NEW arrangement for salmon farm rents has been officially agreed between the Scottish salmon farming industry and The Crown Estate.

As previosly reported on Fishupdate, there has been a successful conclusion to negotiations which began in November last year between Scottish Quality Salmon, Shetland Salmon Farmers’ Association and independent salmon farmers’ representatives and The Crown Estate.

The Crown Estate will now charge rentals based on gutted fish weight rather than whole fish weight as at present. This move will effectively give a reduction in rent equivalent to around eight per cent over the next five years. The salmon farming industry currently pays £2.5m annual rent per annum to The Crown Estate.

Commenting on the agreement, Alan Balfour, chairman of the rent review committee and commercial director at Loch Duart Ltd, said: “This is a small but significant reduction for such an important Scottish industry, which represents 40 per cent of Scottish food exports. It is a step towards achieving a more competitive cost structure in what is becoming an increasingly international market.

Mr Balfour added that the charge is a unique cost to the Scottish industry, and that he was seeking a larger reduction to reflect current market conditions and to strengthen international competitiveness.

Ian Pritchard, fish farming estate manager at The Crown Estate, said: “This agreement recognises the difficult market conditions in which the industry has latterly been operating.”

It has been agreed that rent payments will be charged quarterly instead of annually which will assist the industry cash flow.