MSP asks questions of Young’s

The Young's Seafood factory in Fraserburgh
The Young's Seafood factory in Fraserburgh

A North-East MSP is demading answers as it emerges that Young’s Seafood terminated their Sainsbury’s contract earlier than needed.

Lewis Macdonald MSP has written to the Young’s director asking why the seafood company chose “an earlier exit than planned” from the Sainsbury’s salmon contract.

Lewis Macdonald said today: “It is clear that the hard-working staff at Young’s are paying the price for commercial decisions made by those higher up the company.

“Many jobs could have been secured at least in the short term if the company hadn’t requested an earlier exit from its contract with Sainsbury’s.”

The Herald can reveal today that Young’s Seafood Ltd chose to transfer their Sainsbury’s contract in November 2015 rather than March 2016.

The company however state that this was done to protect the long term future of the company.

A Young’s Seafood Ltd spokesperson said: “Delays to the Company’s ability to restructure would ultimately have made losses greater and put more jobs at risk.”

Young’s lost their £100 million Sainsbury’s contract to Marine Harvest last year resulting in 600 redundancies at the Fraserburgh plant.

Mr Macdonald asked Pete Ward, Young’s Seafood Ltd Chief Executive, what consideration was given to continuing to supply Sainsbury’s in line with their initial plans for a gradual transfer of the contract.

He asked: ““What difference that would have made to the employees in Fraserburgh?”

The MSP has also raised questions regarding Mr Ward’s comment that the company had “done all within its control to mitigate the impact of Sainsbury’s decision on our employees”.

Mr Macdonald said: “It is particularly difficult to square this decision with your suggestion that Sainsbury’s should consider a dual contract to allow Young’s to continue to supply salmon to them in 2016.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said they were unable to comment on individual suppliers.