With a total of 15 categories, The Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards, now in their 17th year, recognise outstanding products, food and drink experiences, outstanding retailers and businesses demonstrating sustainability, quality and diversity. Bakkafrost’s two awards from the evening were Primary Producer, sponsored by Salmon Scotland; and Sustainability, sponsored by Scotland Food and Drink.
Awarding Bakkafrost Scotland, the judging panel said, “this business nurtures a positive culture of continuous improvement and best practice – integral to their sustainable development.”
Its five-year “fresh approach” strategy is underpinned by its healthy living plan which outlines priorities under the following five pillars:
- Healthy business
- Healthy people
- Healthy salmon
- Healthy environment
- Healthy communities
In 2021, Bakkafrost Scotland strengthened its commitment by linking its financials to performance and progress on sustainability targets as well as announcing a new five-year sustainable growth plan, including extensive investments into technological solutions promoting sustainability across all areas of operation.
Ian Laister, managing director, Bakkafrost Scotland said, “we are well on course with the implementation of our sustainability strategy across the value chain to achieve our goal of 50 percent absolute reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. To-date we have achieved an overall 16 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland.
“We are heavily investing in innovative recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology, starting with our RAS facility in Applecross that has an innovative post smolt facility to improve fish health and welfare.
“Our globally unique strain, Native Hebridean, is of pure island heritage and bred from wild stock – the story behind it, and its artisan production process, epitomises sustainable salmon production.
“We source around 60 percent of products and services locally, driving sustainable change in our supply chain.
“Finally, thank you to our team, the people who are key to the success of our business. Our Sustainable Innovation Forum is made up of employee representatives from key parts of the business to embed sustainability within our culture, ensuring strategic focus on key projects, driving continuous improvement.”
Chairwoman of the judging panel, Elaine Jamieson, head of food and drink and life sciences at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said: “Congratulations to all winners and finalists who represent the very best in world class products and services from the Highlands and Islands.
“Selecting the winners was a difficult task for the judging panel. The quality of products, the degree of innovation and the drive on sustainability shone through the entries and was really exciting to see.
“Of course, the backbone of all of this is the people to work in sector, and the awards is an important occasion to celebrate them.”