Aquaculture for all

Scottish Sea Farms processing supervisor scoops award

Atlantic Salmon Processing Retail +7 more

The Marks and Spencer Select Farm Awards 2024 have shone a light on the seafood processing sector, as the Emerging Talent award has been scooped by a Scottish Sea Farms processing supervisor.

Scottish Sea Farms supervisor Nicole McAleer wins award.
Emerging talent Nicole McAleer

© Scottish Sea Farms

A Scottish Sea Farms processing supervisor has won the inaugural Emerging Talent award at the Marks and Spencer Select Farm Awards 2024. Nicole McAleer saw off competition from other leading food producers to scoop the prize, one of five awarded at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Emerging Talent award, open to anyone aged 35 and under, champions those who are positive role models, making an exceptional contribution to their sector.

McAleer joined the salmon producer over four years ago as a trainee processing supervisor at South Shian near Oban before progressing to her current position and is believed to be one of only two women in the Scottish sector to perform such a role.

Originally from Omagh in Northern Ireland, McAleer said she didn’t know what a salmon farm was when she first moved to Oban. Spending her first six months with Scottish Sea Farms learning the ropes out on the floor, she now oversees the entire South Shian processing facility, which has the capacity to process up to 140 tonnes of salmon per single shift.

“Considering I had no fish background whatsoever - my dad is a chicken farmer - before working at Scottish Sea Farms, or of running a facility of any type, to be nominated by my boss, four years in, was a really good feeling,” said McAleer, in a press release.

“To then go on to win the category is further recognition that I’m doing something right. It’s like a big pat on the back,” she added.

Scottish Sea Farms primary processing manager Donald MacAulay, who nominated McAleer for the Emerging Talent Award, said: “Nicole’s commitment to the job, and her appetite to learn and grow, have been instrumental in shaping the calm, capable processing supervisor that she is today.”

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