A major drive to improve standards across the seafood processing sector in Scotland has paid dividends.
Nine companies have succeeded in achieving the new Scottish Seafood Association Standard, and of those, six are being assessed for SALSA (Safe and Local Supplier Approval) accreditation.
The SSA Standard is an initiative that involves the training of staff, guidance on aspects of the business, factory audits and mentoring.
SSA Chief Executive Jimmy Buchan said: “A significant part of the remit of the SSA is to drive up standards across the sector in Scotland – putting the pro- in processing if you like.
“We are determined that all of our processor members will gain the SSA Standard, giving seafood consumers the confidence that the highest standards of food hygiene and processing practices are being upheld.
“We are dedicated to improving the quality and safety of workplaces and investing in people who work in the sector to improve their skills.”
Suzanne Robertson, Business Development Executive of Aberdeenshire Council, who has been closely involved in the project, said: “Through the SALSA and SSA accreditation, the Scottish Seafood Association is ensuring the industry is improving both its skills base and standards.
“It is also making the seafood industry a far more attractive career choice for many within our communities. The wider seafood sector is already a vitally important part of the local economy and Aberdeenshire Council is delighted to help drive its continuing economic growth through this initiative.”
Lucy Husband, UK Market Director at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “Scotland’s reputation for world class seafood continues to grow across the UK and globally. Continually driving up standards is central to this effort. It has been great to be involved in developing this project and the nine businesses that have embraced it are showing the way for others follow.”
Bonnie Joplin, Scheme Development Manager for SALSA, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the Scottish Seafood Association and Scotland Food and Drink to support their members in achieving SALSA approval. By working to industry recognised standards these businesses have demonstrated their commitment to safety and quality and are great ambassadors for Scottish seafood industry.”
The SSA Standard is being funded by the industry, Aberdeenshire Council, Scotland Food & Drink, NESFLAG (EMFF), the Scottish Government and Seafish. The nine successful companies are: Seafood Sourcing Ltd, Enterfoods, Jack Taylor Ltd, GMR Seafoods Ltd, Braehead (SFO Enterprises Ltd), J H Milne Peterhead Ltd, Sustainable Seafoods Peterhead Ltd, Jack Fish Co Ltd and Messers J Smith. The first six of these are awaiting the results of their SALSA audits.