The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) is rebranding as Bakkafrost Scotland, three years after its acquisition by the Faroese group.
Bakkafrost said: “The corporate focus for the past two years has been to align the businesses and develop its core capabilities in Scotland. The renaming of the Scottish operations will ensure that the Group operates as ‘One Company’, with two regions of production. The ambition is to become Scotland’s leading most sustainable salmon producer and our sustainability strategy will totally transform the business, its impact on the environment and deliver leading standards of fish health and welfare.”
Since its acquisition of SSC 2019, Bakkafrost has been investing in its Scottish operations, but it has also faced continuing biological challenges. In a trading update published in April of this year, the company said that the group’s Scottish harvest for the first quarter of 2022 was expected to be around 4,000 tonnes, down from 7,000 tonnes in Q1, 2021. The update reiterated Bakkafrost’s view that, at the time of the takeover, SSC was viewed as a “turnaround case”.
Bakkafrost has committed to an investment programme of £711m in Scotland, which it said will increase the group’s output by more than 40%. A substantial proportion of this investment will be made in Scotland, Bakkafrost said.
The investment will create jobs, drive forward rural economies, develop business performance and improve day-to-day operations for Bakkafrost Scotland’s current 600 staff located across the West Coast of Scotland and the Hebridean Islands. The substantial investment in Scotland will also drive forward the wider salmon farming sector.
Regin Jacobsen, CEO, Bakkafrost said: “When we acquired The Scottish Salmon Company, we saw the exceptional value of Scottish provenance and an opportunity to create the leading and most sustainable salmon producer in Scotland.
“The next step in realising this potential is the renaming of our Scottish operations to Bakkafrost Scotland. This represents an important milestone in our ‘One Company’ strategic focus, as we continue to build on our strengths and best practices across the Group to fully benefit from the collective knowledge and competencies from our passionate and talented employees. The renaming also signals that we are fully committed to Scotland and look forward to realising our investment plan that will create jobs and value in our local communities. Scotland is an integral part of our future plans for business growth.”
A key part of the investment in Scotland is the expansion of the hatchery at Applecross, with the construction of state of the art RAS (recirculating aquaculture system) freshwater infrastructure for larger smolt production.
The company is expected to make a further announcement on RAS investment over the coming months.
The company also recently opened its new Scotland headquarters in Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh.
Ian Laister, Managing Director, Bakkafrost Scotland said: “The renaming of our Scotland operations to Bakkafrost Scotland and finalising our larger smolt production strategy, represents our firm step into the future as part of the Bakkafrost family.
“Bakkafrost is the most vertically integrated salmon farming business in the world, allowing the Scottish operation full control and responsibility over all aspects of our supply chain and production.
“Bakkafrost Scotland cements our position on the global stage, while retaining our proud Scottish provenance. This is fundamental to our people, and the communities in which they live and work, and to our customers, who receive only the finest salmon from Scotland. This combined with our larger smolt strategy drives our journey to become Scotland’s leading and most sustainable producer of the finest quality salmon.”