“If we try to compete on price then we’ll lose.”
CEO Craig Anderson of The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) told SalmonBusiness that he got a surprise when he joined the group five years ago and was trying to sell salmon to overseas markets.
“I got questions from the buyers if I could guarantee where the fish came from and how I could guarantee where the fish they receive comes from. I went back to Scotland and talked to our marketing department to find out how we could give our customers what they wanted,” Anderson said.
It was in this way that SSC ended up changing its strategy and focusing more on the brand and not just the production of salmon.
“The launch of our brand has been very important to us. Native Hebridean is not just a mark, it’s a fish. We like to say: When is a salmon not just a salmon? When it is a Native Hebridean salmon. We believe the brand we have built is an advantage for us,” said Anderson.
But there is no doubt that the focus on the brand is expensive for SSC.
“We can’t compete on price. Our goal is to compete on quality. And we’re working on it at all times,” said Anderson.
In 2018, Lochlander Salmon was launched in North America as part of the brand building.
“Here we use exactly what I experienced five years ago. We guarantee through the brand that the fish has Scottish origins,” said the CEO.
Anderson said that 2018 has been a year of continuous hard work, but that it has been a successful year.
Not going on land
Asked if they were considering starting food fish production on land, Anderson is clearly ready: “It is not appropriate for us. If it is land-based, it can be anywhere in the world. Where is the guarantee of quality and where do the fish come from then?”
Unlike many others, SSC is not interested in participating in any race to get ashore or to feed the fish as quickly as possible.
“It comes back to quality. We believe that by allowing the fish to grow naturally, in the sea, it produces better quality fish. And we think there are fish with good texture, taste and colour the customers want. We will continue to deliver quality meals with our fish instead of aggressively feeding the fish for 12 months,” Anderson concluded.