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30 April, 2008

SALMON growers Scottish Sea Farms are investing £3 million in state of the art filleting and packaging equipment for their two processing factories in Shetland and Oban.

The high tech equipment will mean salmon can be filleted and ready for distribution within two hours of leaving the sea, a first for the company.

New packaging will see the fish transported in vacuum-packed containers which can be returned to the factory for re-use, freeing their customers of the challenge of disposing of polystyrene boxes.

Gordon Drummond, processing manager at the Shetland factory, in Scalloway, said: “This investment will allow us to cut packaging costs and reduce our environmental impact through the use of the re-usable containers.

“It’s a massive improvement for our customers because they don’t have the disposal costs and the problems associated with polystyrene boxes.”

Oban processing manager Donald Buchanan added: "This new equipment will allow us to track all the fish we supply to the particular farm where they were grown, giving greater reassurance to our buyers and consumers."

The new equipment should be up and running by June, allowing Scottish Sea Farms to export fish fillets for the first time. Until now they have only gutted and beheaded the fish.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise are contributing £100,000 into each of the factories to help cover the cost, saying the company was “an excellent example of the type of company HIE wants to support”.

HIE development manager Colin Mclean said: "In future HIE will have a more concentrated focus on companies such as SSF which is looking to grow its ambitions globally and this investment will make a significant contribution to its primary objective - to export a quality product to niche markets around the world.

"The global salmon market grew at around 10 per cent between 1995 and 2005. Farmed salmon therefore represents a high growth industry and an important contributor to the Scottish economy."

Most recent update - Tuesday, 06 May 2008 17:07
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