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Grieg confirms salmon smokehouse won’t reopen

GRIEG SEAFOOD has confirmed that it is permanently shutting down its smoked salmon processing operation, which was mothballed back in March.

Until then it had produced the popular and award-winning Wild Waters range, processed at Lerwick Fish Traders at Gremista, but announced on Thursday that the factory would not be reopening. Last year Tesco pulled out of stocking the WildWaters produce.

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Regional director Sigurd Pettersen said the operation was costing the company a lot of money and was likely to prove too expensive to turn around.

It had had already laid off 50 people from the factory, and the company now anticipates maintaining a staffing level of around 175 at its hatchery and various farm sites throughout the islands. 

Pettersen said the smoked salmon it had been producing was “among the best I’ve tasted in the UK, and we won prizes for product quality”.

The problem, he said, was that “we were too small to penetrate the big volumes going to retailers, and too big to have a chance to compete in the specialist market, so we fell between two chairs – too big for one, too small for the other”.

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