Wester Ross Fisheries
- Sector: Food & Beverage
- Region: Scotland
Wester Ross Fisheries is the oldest and only independently owned Scottish salmon farmer in the UK. Founded in 1977, the company has established itself as one of Scotland’s leading fish exporters.
Based in the Scottish Highlands, Wester Ross farm is in one of the most sparsely populated parts of Europe. The farm’s salmon is produced without the use of medicine, hormones, genetically modified organisms or antibiotics. They are also allowed extra time to grow, resulting in fish that are rich in omega-3, vitamins and full of umami flavours.
Managing Director Gilpin Bradley explains: “We focus on traditional labour.intensive ways of hand-rearing, using no automation and no cameras.” The Scottish salmon industry is booming, thanks in large part to growing demand for sustainable seafood. “One of the biggest challenges we’ll be facing in the coming years will be to keep up with growing demand while not compromising on the quality of Scottish salmon, all the while trying to grow salmon in a highly sustainable environment,” Gilpin explains. “Preserving our land and our seas for future generations is crucial.”
Looking ahead, Gilpin says he is aiming to further grow the business overseas, due in part to shortages in other markets and high demand for premium Atlantic salmon. “Now, more than 75% of all our salmon are exported, mainly to the US, continental Europe, the Middle East and Far East Asia,” he says.
The company is proud of its local heritage, a message that Gilpin feels other UK firms could learn from. To boost competitiveness, businesses should focus on promoting their provenance, as that resonates with discerning customers. He adds that for businesses just starting out, a fearless and adventurous attitude is crucial. “Don’t be afraid to explore new markets, to meet new people. All this new experience will shape into stronger and more knowledgeable leaders.”