Scottish processors warn sector is on brink of collapse

Industry leaders say business rates are making them uncompetitive with European neighbors.

A coalition of northeast Scottish fish processors is warning the sector is on the brink of disaster unless high business rates are dropped, reports The Press & Journal.

The Grampian Seafood Alliance (GSA) met Scottish finance secretary Derek Mackay in Edinburgh Tuesday, hoping to make the case for lowering rates across the sector.

Instead, members said they were left feeling as if they had achieved little and warned that firms could begin folding because they are unable to compete with plants in mainland Europe, which can operate at a lower cost.

The dire warning comes just months after a Young’s Seafood plant in Fraserburgh started to show signs of recovery following massive layoffs in 2015.

The firm had lost a lucrative processing contract with UK retailer Sainsbury's to Marine Harvest and had to sack hundreds of staff as a result.

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