SSPO says market improving Published: 11 October, 2006
Sid Patten, Chief Executive, SSPO
THE market outlook for Scottish farmed salmon is improving, according to Sid Patten, Chief Executive of representative body Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO).
As the industry continues to recover from the effects of worldwide low prices in previous years, which resulted in a substantial reduction in Scottish production, the SSPO reports that over one million fresh salmon meals are now enjoyed every day in the UK.
Commenting on the improving outlook, Sid Patten said: Production of Scottish farmed salmon started to decline in 2004, but UK demand for salmon has continued to enjoy an unprecedented increase. With a fair price for the farmer now and a forecasted steady increase in production from 2007, this is good news for the farmer, the west coast and the islands of Scotland.
The future prosperity of many businesses depend on the continuation of solid investment in salmon farming, which sequentially maintains supporting businesses throughout the rest of Scotland and further afield, he added.
Welcoming the news, Tony Wall, Veterinary Director, Fish Vet Group remarked: Salmon farming is extremely important to us because it is our main income stream. During the last eleven years, we have invested over £2million pounds into our business. Our staffing levels have grown from two employees 11 years ago to ten full-time and 4-6 part-time employees, all of whom are reliant on a successful salmon industry.
David Goodlad, Managing Director, Net Services (Shetland) Ltd, noted: Our business has changed from being 100 per cent reliant on the fish catching sector, to now being 100 per cent reliant on the fish farming sector. In 1998 there were three employees, now there are 18. This increase in staff is purely as a result of fish farming and in particular salmon farming, as it currently represents approximately 75 per cent of our business.
David Jess, Managing Director, Rossyew Ltd added: We started the business with four employees, but as turnover has grown we have expanded and we now employ a total of 12 people. We have injected over £1 million pounds into our business and we are 100 per cent reliant on the Scottish salmon farming industry for the supply of high quality salmon by-products.
Despite the recent downturn in Scottish production, new salmon consumption figures (data is up to and including the end of May 06) reveal the unprecedented increase in UK demand:
· Fresh salmon meals have increased from 314 million in 2004 to 357 million in 2006 an increase of 13.8 per cent
· Smoked salmon portions have increased from 42.8 million in 2004 to 59.4 million in 2006 an increase of 38.7 per cent
Commenting on the UK consumer demand, Sid Patten noted: Over one million fresh salmon meals are enjoyed every day in the UK. Similarly, over one million portions of smoked salmon are enjoyed every week. Salmon farming is a young, dynamic industry, which brings huge benefits to Scotlands rural economies.