British supermarket giant Sainsbury’s decision to switch its existing salmon procurement contract from Young’s Seafood to Marine Harvest has forced Young’s to axe as many as 900 jobs in Scotland. The contract, which was pulled out, brought millions of pounds in revenues to Young’s every year. In the face of this major loss of business, the seafood firm has said that it will ‘restructure’ its business by shutting down its operating bases in three key locations in Scotland: Aberdeenshire, Grantown-on-Spey, and Fraserburgh
Sainsbury’s, which was in a GBP 100 million contract to obtain salmon from Young’s, has chosen to now partner with Marine Harvest, a company that has built massive operations in Scotland’s famed salmon industry. A news report that appeared in the Scotsman, quoted the chief executive officer of Young’s, Pete Ward, as saying that decision did not reflect on the company’s skilled team, which has shown commitment and dedication through this time. While he conceded that the lay-offs will not be an easy process, Ward also added that the decision to trim the workforce was seen as being better than other consolidation options considered by the company.
He also reiterated the company’s commitment to provide its customers with high-quality seafood. The company also plans to hold discussions with employees to understand future options.
On the other hand, the head of economic development at the Aberdeenshire’s Council, Belinda Miller, said that Sainsbury’s decision to end its contract with Young’s deals a blow to Fraserburgh’s ongoing regeneration. She termed Young’s decision to lay off 900 employees as being “unfortunate and disappointing”.
A spokesperson from Sainsbury’s said that the supermarket had been reviewing its existing chain of Scottish Salmon suppliers. While Young’s will no longer be in a supply contract for Salmon with Sainsbury’s, the company will supply other fish such as Haddock and Cod.