Argyll fish farmer honoured

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An Argyll fish farm worker has landed a top gong at the Royal Highland Show.

Matthew Anderson, 24, has come runner-up at this year’s prestigious M&S Farming for the Future Awards in the Young Producer category. The awards took place at the Royal Highland Show on Thursday last week.

Assistant farm manager Matthew, who works for Dawnfresh’s Tervine fish farm near Oban, impressed judges with his passion for the aquaculture industry and drive to improve the environmental credentials of the farm.

He joined the operation in 2014 as one of the company’s first candidates on its graduate training programme after studying aquaculture at Stirling University.

In 2015, he was invited to attend the M&S Farming for the Future Agricultural Leadership Programme at the Cranfield School of Management. Since then, he has implemented a new recycling system, built bat boxes to encourage local wildlife and reduced the site’s energy use.

Even at this stage in his career, he is dedicated to helping the next generation of fish farmers and attends a number of university open days to share his knowledge and passion for the fish industry with students.

Matthew said: ‘The aquaculture industry provides a great opportunity for young producers and I’m delighted to have been recognised in this way. The industry is constantly evolving, so it’s important for me to be able to contribute new ideas, as well as support and encourage young people looking to make a career in the sector.’

M&S Farming for the Future is a programme of initiatives which champions sustainability and innovation. The programme is designed to help farmers identify opportunities for improvement, increase their profitability and provide a sustainable supply chain that can continue to deliver quality and innovation for the long term.

The awards celebrate suppliers working towards important M&S Plan A commitments, including becoming carbon neutral, sending no waste to landfill, extending sustainable sourcing, setting new standards in ethical trading, and helping customers and employees live a healthier lifestyle.

Steve McLean, at M&S, said: ‘The Farming for the Future awards are now in their 10th year, acknowledging the dedication and commitment our farmers and growers are making towards Plan A and sharing best practice amongst the agricultural community across Ireland and the UK.

‘Matthew is a very worthy winner who has demonstrated innovative thinking, commercial success and social responsibility in the way that he manages and executes his role.’