ALISON Hutchins has been appointed farming director of Dawnfresh, believed to be the first woman to hold such a position in the Scottish aquaculture industry.
She replaces Stewart Hawthorn, who has left the company to focus on other business interests.
Hutchins (pictured), a former manager at Marine Harvest, has been at Dawnfresh, the UK’s largest trout farmer, for five years, and was previously farming operations development manager.
Last week she met community councillors in Taynuilt in Argyll to introduce herself personally and to try to build better links between the local village and Dawnfresh, which farms on Loch Etive and Loch Awe.
Hutchins told councillors that Loch Etive now employs 27 local people, compared to 13 five years ago, while there were another 10 jobs at Loch Awe.
She also raised the possibility of bringing processing work to the area in the future. At present, Dawnfresh processes its trout elsewhere, including at facilities in Uddingston and Arbroath.
And she revealed that the company has no problem with sea lice in its waters ‘just now’.
‘Wild fish bring in the sea lice but there’s no sea lice just now because of the rainfall. We’ve not done any sea lice treatment since November.’