Sophie Smith brings extensive experience to the role and will complete the UK leadership team, which works with the top five farmed salmon producers on their fish health programmes by providing products including SLICE and the Aquavac range of vaccines. She replaces Dafydd Morris who, after three years, recently moved to head up MSD’s operations as General Manager for Nordics Aqua.
Sophie will be responsible for product strategy and planning, key account management, market intelligence, pricing and projects coordination and leadership of the aqua team. A graduate from Newcastle University with a BSc in Agriculture and Environmental Science, Sophie was awarded the George Heslop Harrison award for excellence in Agricultural Zoology, specialising in parasitology.
Albert Urbanek, Integrated Livestock Business Unit Director at MSD Animal Health, said: “We are delighted to welcome Sophie to our team and look forward to utilising her widespread knowledge of the animal health industry and aquaculture industry."
Sophie joins MSD Animal Health from Agrihealth where she led the UK sales operation. She was CEO at Downland Marketing Ltd for nine years, and prior to that with Pfizer Animal Health and at Grampian Pharmaceuticals developing a sea lice treatment for salmon.
Commenting on her new position, Sophie said: “Having worked previously in aquaculture, followed by a further 20 years at various levels of the distribution chain in the animal health industry, I am absolutely delighted to return to aquaculture in this important and exciting role.
“Scottish salmon’s reputation is built on high standards of fish health and welfare and the industry clearly has some significant challenges ahead over the next few years working towards its goal of increasing production to 210,000 tonnes by 2020, and doubling the annual contribution of the aquaculture industry to Scotland’s economy to £3.6 billion by 2030.
“Careful management of fish health, whilst minimising our environmental footprint is absolutely fundamental to achievement of the above production goals, and this is where I intend to focus our efforts.”