Orkney-based fish farm manager, Richard Darbyshire, from Scottish Sea Farms, has won the prestigious Champion of Champions title in the 2014 Farming for the Future Awards.
Richard is the regional manager for Orkney for Scottish Sea Farms and won the award for the establishment and successful operation of a new Salmon farm on the Orkney Island of Eday.
Commenting on the awards, Steve McLean, Head of Agriculture & Fisheries Sourcing at M&S, said: “Our judges were particularly impressed by Richard’s entry, which highlighted the great work that he and his team have undertaken in establishing a new Salmon farm in very difficult tidal conditions close to Eday. “We were particularly impressed by his determination to make the site work and provide high value jobs for islanders in this remote part of the world. What’s even more remarkable is that having been established in 2012, the Eday farm went on to be Scottish Sea Farms’ best performing site in 2013 - an incredible achievement given the conditions in which they operate.”
Commenting on his win, Richard said: “I am both proud and absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious award. As a retailer, M&S is known for its high standards and we have been able to demonstrate our commitment in the areas of sustainability, ethics and education. The quality of salmon we can produce in Orkney is exceptional and we overcame technically challenging environmental conditions to site the farm at Eday.
“We have employed local Eday residents and developed them via our comprehensive training programme. The new site has also stimulated the local economy and due to its success, we are now about to expand in the area. This award is not just for me but is recognition for the entire Scottish Sea Farms Eday team and the hard work and high standards that they aspire to on a daily basis.”
Richard wins a free place on the M&S Agricultural Leadership Programme.