Ar­gyll fish farmer hon­oured

The Oban Times - - Farming -

AN AR­GYLL fish farm worker has landed a top gong at the Royal High­land Show.

Matthew An­der­son, 24, has come run­ner-up at this year’s pres­ti­gious M&S Farm­ing for the Fu­ture Awards in the Young Pro­ducer cat­e­gory. The awards took place at the Royal High­land Show on Thurs­day last week.

As­sis­tant farm man­ager Matthew, who works for Dawn­fresh’s Tervine fish farm near Oban, im­pressed judges with his pas­sion for the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try and drive to im­prove the en­vi­ron­men­tal cre­den­tials of the farm.

He joined the oper­a­tion in 2014 as one of the com­pany’s first can­di­dates on its grad­u­ate train­ing pro­gramme af­ter study­ing aqua­cul­ture at Stir­ling Univer­sity.

In 2015, he was in­vited to at­tend the M&S Farm­ing for the Fu­ture Agri­cul­tural Lead­er­ship Pro­gramme at the Cran­field School of Man­age­ment. Since then, he has im­ple­mented a new re­cy­cling sys­tem, built bat boxes to en­cour­age lo­cal wildlife and re­duced the site’s en­ergy use.

Even at this stage in his ca­reer, he is ded­i­cated to help­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of fish farm­ers and at­tends a num­ber of univer­sity open days to share his knowl­edge and pas­sion for the fish in­dus­try with stu­dents.

Matthew said: ‘The aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try pro­vides a great op­por­tu­nity for young pro­duc­ers and I’m de­lighted to have been recog­nised in this way. The in­dus­try is con­stantly evolv­ing, so it’s im­por­tant for me to be able to con­trib­ute new ideas, as well as sup­port and en­cour­age young peo­ple look­ing to make a ca­reer in the sec­tor.’

M&S Farm­ing for the Fu­ture is a pro­gramme of ini­tia­tives which cham­pi­ons sus­tain­abil­ity and in­no­va­tion. The pro­gramme is de­signed to help farm­ers iden­tify op­por­tu­ni­ties for im­prove­ment, in­crease their prof­itabil­ity and pro­vide a sus­tain­able sup­ply chain that can con­tinue to de­liver qual­ity and in­no­va­tion for the long term.

The awards cel­e­brate sup­pli­ers work­ing to­wards im­por­tant M&S Plan A com­mit­ments, in­clud­ing be­com­ing car­bon neu­tral, send­ing no waste to land­fill, ex­tend­ing sus­tain­able sourc­ing, set­ting new stan­dards in eth­i­cal trad­ing, and help­ing cus­tomers and em­ploy­ees live a health­ier life­style.

Steve McLean, at M&S, said: ‘The Farm­ing for the Fu­ture awards are now in their 10th year, ac­knowl­edg­ing the ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment our farm­ers and grow­ers are mak­ing to­wards Plan A and shar­ing best prac­tice amongst the agri­cul­tural com­mu­nity across Ire­land and the UK.

‘Matthew is a very wor­thy win­ner who has demon­strated in­no­va­tive think­ing, com­mer­cial suc­cess and so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity in the way that he man­ages and ex­e­cutes his role.’

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