Expansion in new markets
Wester Ross acquires farm to boost growth plan
Scotland’s oldest independent salmon farming business, Wester Ross Fisheries, has bought a salmon farm near Ullapool to support the business’s long term growth.
Ownership of the farm will give Wester Ross Fisheries full control of the site, which was previously let by the business.
Wester Ross Fisheries employs 60 staff and is the largest private-sector employer in Ullapool. The new farm will secure these jobs and create at least six more in the Ross-shire area.
The growth of the business will also help it to meet demands in international markets, which is key to the salmon farming industry.
Wester Ross Fisheries has seen its exports grow from 20% to 70% over the last five years and expects this to increase as it targets markets in Middle East and Asia. The business currently exports to Japan, Singapore and America.
It has been trading since 1977 and operates seawater sites on Loch Kannaird and Loch Broom, as well as a processing plant in Dingwall. The business specialises in a unique approach to farming and hand-rears its salmon. It also uses wrasse, a species of fish, for maintaining the challenge from wild sea lice.
Gilpin Bradley, managing director, said: “Over the past 40 years, Wester Ross has grown significantly and our natural approach to salmon farming has generated loyal customers from all over the world. We are expecting the new farm to help us to meet the increasing global demand for our products.
Funding for the farm deal was provided by Bank of Scotland. Barrie Aird, relationship manager at the bank, said: “The expansion of Wester Ross Fisheries is a strong signal of sector confidence and highlights the importance of the Scottish salmon farming industry on the local economy.”