Young’s Seafood secures salmon deal, fate of Annan processor uncertain

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Young’s Seafood moves to consolidate key contract after collapse of Five Star Fish in Grimsby, but the move in England will rattle a Scottish seafood industry already on alert for Brexit-related processor layoffs

Young’s Seafood, one of Europe’s largest buyers and sellers of farmed salmon, has secured three new contracts with Marks and Spencer that might save 200 jobs in Grimsby, writes the Grimsby Telegraph.

One of those contracts to supply M&S is understood to involve natural salmon: the other two are for frozen, coated fish and whitefish. The deal to process salmon for M&S in Grimsby now appears to have cost Annan, Scotland, home of processor Pinneys.

The news comes in the wake of Five Star Fish’s collapse as a Grimsby processor, a result that seemed to spell the end for 390 jobs. Salmon from Young’s Pinneys site now appears to be part of the solution that could save the livelihoods of 200 employees in Grimsby.

Pinneys employees in Scotland were not so lucky, it appears, and now appear to face job losses or uncertainty.

“Following a review of its UK operations, the company proposes to move the remaining natural salmon production undertaken at the Pinneys site to Young’s existing natural salmon facility at its Humberstone Road site in Grimsby and close the Pinneys site, resulting in the loss of 450 jobs (by the end of 2018),” the newspaper reported.

“Today’s proposal to close our Young’s Pinneys site does not reflect on the committed and skilled teams at Young’s Pinneys – they are a credit to our Company and if these proposals do go ahead we will work hard to maintain the employment of all colleagues throughout this transition,” said Young’s Seafood CEO, Bill Showalter.

Pinneys has been a major hub in Scottish seafood for over thirty years but has changed hands a few times. In a statement, Young’s Seafood declared Pinneys “no longer financially sustainable”.