Scotch boss takes on top salmon role

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A FOR­MER chief of the Scotch Whisky As­so­ci­a­tion has been ap­pointed to rep­re­sent the in­ter­ests of Scot­tish salmon farm­ers.

Julie Hes­keth-Laird is to take over as chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Scot­tish Salmon Pro­duc­ers Or­gan­i­sa­tion (SSPO) fol­low­ing the re­tire­ment of Scott Lands­burgh, who has held the po­si­tion for nearly 10 years.

Hes­keth-Laird was most re­cently act­ing (and deputy) chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Scotch Whisky As­so­ci­a­tion and brings her ex­pe­ri­ence of rep­re­sent­ing Scot­land’s and the UK’s largest drink ex­port to the salmon body, which sup­ports Scot­land’s and the UK’s largest food ex­port.

She has held var­i­ous se­nior roles at the whisky group since 2005, help­ing to cre­ate the con­di­tions for record ex­ports.

Pre­vi­ously, she held strat­egy and pol­icy roles in Lon­don and in Ed­in­burgh with the CBI, the Chem­i­cal In­dus­tries As­so­ci­a­tion and the then newly pri­va­tised wa­ter in­dus­try.

Hes­keth-Laird said: ‘I am de­lighted to have been ap­pointed CEO of Scot­tish salmon and to join Scot­land’s most suc­cess­ful and im­por­tant food sec­tor.

‘It is an ex­cit­ing but chal­leng­ing time for the de­vel­op­ment of the salmon in­dus­try and I look for­ward enor­mously to work­ing with the in­dus­try and its stake­hold­ers to help forge fur­ther sus­tain­able growth.’

Chair­man of the SSPO Gilpin Bradley said: ‘Julie will bring a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence and fresh lead­er­ship to the ca­pa­ble SSPO team.

‘Her back­ground in food and drink rep­re­sen­ta­tion will be in­valu­able as we work with the gov­ern­ment and stake­hold­ers to keep grow­ing our suc­cess­ful in­dus­try.

‘I would like to pay trib­ute to Scott Lands­burgh’s decade in the role as SSPO CEO. We have val­ued his lead­er­ship and he leaves the

or­gan­i­sa­tion and in­dus­try in good health. We wish him well for his re­tire­ment.’

Hes­keth-Laird will take of­fice on Fe­bru­ary 19 and will tour the in­dus­try to meet the salmon farming com­pa­nies and see their op­er­a­tions.

She will then at­tend the Seafood Expo in North Amer­ica, where the Scot­tish salmon in­dus­try has achieved sig­nif­i­cant ex­port suc­cess, with US sales worth around £200 mil­lion.

Above: Scott Lands­burgh

Above: Julie Hes­keth-Laird

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