Entitled ‘Scottish Salmon Farming – Industry Research Report’, the survey highlights the creation of 234 new jobs, £29.5 million capital investment and £296 million expenditure on suppliers and services, as well as an extremely positive economic mood in the inaugural Salmon Business Confidence Survey.
Completed by 95 per cent of salmon production, the industry representative body Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO) has said the research is an authoritative measure of the increasing economic contribution made by salmon farmers.
Scott Landsburgh, Chief Executive of SSPO, said: “The research results are a major boost for the sector and the remote, rural communities that depend on a successful, sustainable and profitable salmon industry.
“The sector is enjoying an upward trend. The contribution to the economy is increasing in many ways. For example, over the last three years there has been a 55 per cent leap in the direct value to communities through the rising contribution of salaries, which was bolstered by the creation of 234 new jobs in the last year,” added Landsburgh.
Dr Lesley Sawers, Chief Executive, Scottish Council for Development and Industry, said: “The last year has continued to be very challenging for many sectors, but analysis of this industry research shows that Scottish salmon farmers have weathered the downturn better than most and, with their investment and strong demand in the UK and overseas, are leaders on the way back to growth.”
The industry research incorporates the first Salmon Business Confidence Survey (SBCS), offering an insight into the mindset of business leaders running big and small salmon farming businesses in Scotland. The key findings from SBCS are:
- 90 per cent of SSPO member companies feel ‘very confident’ or ‘confident’ about future demand for health-enhancing salmon. The remaining 10 per cent felt ‘content’;
- 70 per cent of SSPO member companies expressed a desire to grow sustainably over the next five years. 30 per cent felt content with the current level of production, and;
- 78 per cent of SSPO member companies plan to increase staff over the next five years.
“The economic mood is extremely positive. Clearly, the signs are that companies are ready to take investment decisions that will affect their longer term success in the Highlands and Islands,” said Landsburgh.
Dr Sawers added: “It is heartening that business leaders in the salmon sector are in upbeat mood – 90 per cent are confident about future demand, and more than two-thirds plan to expand. SCDI’s Blueprint for Scotland’s economy sets a target to double the value of our exports in ten years. As global demand grows for its world-leading premium quality products, Scotland’s salmon sector clearly has great opportunities and shares our ambition.”