Awards success for Orkney Fishermen's Society

Stewart Crichton (centre) from Orkney Fishermen's Society accepting the award in London last night (Nov 15th). Stewart Crichton (centre) from Orkney Fishermen's Society accepting the award in London last night (Nov 15th). The work of the Orkney Fishermen’s Society has been recognised at a major national awards ceremony.

The organisation claimed The Grichan Partnership Sustainable Business Award at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards at a gala event in London last night (November 15th).

The judges were looking for a business that could showcase ‘an outstanding commitment to sustainability’. The Society, a co-operative owned largely by inshore fishermen in Orkney, has put a strong emphasis on this aspect of its approach over the years.

An OFS pick-up of fresh shellfish from Kirkwall Pier An OFS pick-up of fresh shellfish from Kirkwall Pier

It has led research initiatives and shellfish tagging trials aimed at ensuring local stocks remain healthy and protected for future generations of local fishermen. The co-operative is also a key supporter of Orkney Sustainable Fisheries Ltd, which runs the local lobster hatchery.

According to the judges at the event, the Society stood out from the other shortlisted businesses for its work in a challenging industry. It was also praised for its excellent business strategies and the way it ‘looked after the local fishing community, the sea bed and the marine environment’.

Work at the Orkney Sustainable Fisheries Ltd lobster hatchery helps keep Orkney's stocks sustainable Work at the Orkney Sustainable Fisheries Ltd lobster hatchery helps keep Orkney's stocks sustainable

Stewart Crichton from the Orkney Fishermen’s Society said: ‘It's great that the work of the Orkney Fishermen’s Society has been recognised at a national level by such a prestigious award. Benchmarking against best practice helps us push the business forward, while the publicity generated will increase demand for our products and through that increase the price returned to local fishermen for their catch’.

Edgar Balfour, Orkney Food and Drink’s Development Manager, said: ‘OFS is a real success story in the islands, showing what can be done with hard work, co-operation and determination. Orkney’s shellfish is renowned around the world for its quality and the innovative approach to sustainability by the Society and its members will ensure that reputation remains for generations to come’.

OFS members at work near the Old Man of Hoy OFS members at work near the Old Man of Hoy

The Society was established in 1953 and is one of the UK’s main distributors of live crab in the UK, processing up to sixty tons per week to meet demand across the country. It handles lobster, velvet and brown crab catches from around Orkney’s waters.

Find out more about the Orkney Fishermen’s Society.

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