26 May 2009, 14:27 PM
  • Farmers from Scotland contributed £500 million to the economy in 2008, according to a recent report by the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO).

Spending on suppliers and services in the Scottish region increased from £253 million in 2006 to £304 million in 2008, with the Highlands and Islands receiving up to £143 million of the profit.

The rest of Scotland and Britain attracted an annual income of £80 million and £66 million respectively.

Salmon production benefited from a particularly significant boost, contributing a further £165 million to the rural economy with local wages reaching a total of £36 million in 2008.

“The findings highlight the far-reaching and vital benefits of salmon farming. Our industry continues to play a major role in the economic sustainability of the Highlands and Islands,” says Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of the SSPO.

“What’s striking is the increase in investment and expenditure at a time when many other sectors have seen cutbacks,” adds David Primrose, director of independent market research company, George Street Research, which analysed the SSPO report.

While the consensus is clearly positive the financial focus moving forward is not without concern. “The prospects for future development of our sector are encouraging. However, the development of a policy that supports further capital investment and expenditure in the supply chain is crucial,” concludes Mr Landsburgh.