YOUNG’S Seafood has declined to comment on a report that it is continuing to process salmon for Sainsbury’s even though the contract formally ended earlier this month. The company told Fishupdate it did not plan to make a statement on the matter.
However,Fish Update understands from one Grimsby seafood industry source that smoked salmon production by Young’s has continued beyond the cut off date at the beginning of this month because the Marine Harvest factory at Rosyth near Edinburgh is not fully ready.
This has led to more than a few red faces at Marine Harvest which snatched the Sainsbury’s salmon processing contract, said to be worth around £100-million a year, back in the summer. Even more embarrassing is the fact that the Christmas rush is about to begin when smoked salmon sales in the UK reaches their peak.
Young’s had been processing salmon for the supermarket chain at Grimsby and in Scotland for several years and was highly experienced in this area, which made the last summer’s news all the more surprising. However, it is continuing to process whitefish and other types of seafood for Sainsbury’s.
A number of Young’s middle order executives began jumping ship to Marine Harvest earlier in the year which fuelled trade speculation that the contract was about to change hands.
The biggest casualties in all this are the 600 or so workers at Fraserburgh and Spey valley in Scotland who are due to lose their jobs early next year as a direct result of the switch.
The only bright spot is that Young’s, after talks with Scottish government officials, has now decided to retain 250 workers at Fraserburgh. The Grimsby workforce is relatively unaffected and may even benefit from a small increase next year.