The Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group – the UK’s premier producer of farmed mussels and oysters - has officially opened its new processing facility at Bellshill in central Scotland by holding a special celebration event where guests heard of the company’s exciting development plans for the future.
The new facility is double the size of SSMG’s previous processing site and will enable the company to innovate and develop its product portfolio to meet growing consumer demand for premium Scottish shellfish.
The new processing facility was officially opened by SSMG’s two longest serving employees, Beth Fraser Khan and Isobel Smith. Over 60 guests attended the event, which included a special seafood buffet that showcased the very best of Scottish shellfish.
In his opening presentation, SSMG chairman Michael Laurenson said the new processing facility has placed the company in an excellent position for future growth.
“In particular, it will give us the opportunity to expand our shellfish range to meet the requirements of a dynamic consumer market,” he said. “We will achieve this through product innovation and by diversifying our operation to include other shellfish species.”
Managing director Stephen Cameron praised the dedication of the company’s workforce, which had played a key role in the company’s success in recent years.
“Our employees have been fantastic and their hard work and enthusiasm has enabled the smooth transfer of operations to our new processing site,” he said. “We believe the Scottish shellfish industry has a great future because of growing consumer demand and widespread recognition of the range and quality of seafood found around our coasts.”
SSMG sources its mussels and oysters from member farms on the west coast of Scotland and Shetland, which have been independently certified by the Marine Stewardship Council and Friend of the Sea for their sustainable and environmentally responsible manner of cultivation.
Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson said: “The clear, clean waters around Scotland produce some of the most delicious and highly sought after shellfish anywhere in the world. Therefore I welcome the opening of the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group’s new processing facility in Motherwell, backed by £132,500 support from the Scottish Government.
“Our shellfish farming sector has seen impressive sales growth of 92 per cent between 2007 and 2011, to nearly £10 million, while there is great potential for further development. The new premises will help ensure that sustainable growth can continue and I believe we have every reason to be confident in the future of Scottish farmed shellfish.”